IRON BRU BATS AWAY SWITCH STICK
MALTA v NORTHERN IRELAND Kick-off 6.30pm
ALEX BRUCE reckons the flak he’ll get for switching from the Republic to Northern Ireland will be a doddle – after playing for his dad.
Defender Bruce, 28, is set for his first cap for Michael O’Neill’s Northern Ireland side in Malta.
Bruce (left) has previously turned out for the Republic in friendly games.
But he is the latest player to make the controversial switch between the countries – taking the opposite route to Darron Gibson and James McCarthy.
Nigel Worthington first tried to persuade Bruce to make the switch two years ago.
And the Hull defender is adamant playing under dad Steve at the KC Stadium means he is used to getting stick.
Bruce said: “Michael’s given me a fantastic opportunity to play international football.
“My granny’s from Bangor, so I always knew when I hadn’t played a competitive game for the Republic that I was still available – and when that phone call came I had a long think about it.
“Michael’s come in and taken the bull by the horns and cracked on with the talks we’ve had.
“I made a decision and I’m just looking forward to playing for Northern Ireland.
“I’ve had pressure all my life. Obviously the situation at Hull, where my dad’s the manager, has been a bit of a pressure cooker as well.
“So I’ve had a few things like that to deal with over the years. Pressure is something I don’t really think too much about.”
THE LEADER: McCall
says players are desperate
to be involved in Strachan’s first game in charge