Bru: Full steam ahead for the Trac­tor Boys...

The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By Marc Co­hen

IP­SWICH Town fin­ished 2016 with a stun­ning late win over Bris­tol City and mid­fielder Kevin Bru hopes his side have laid the foun­da­tions for a rip-roar­ing sec­ond half of the sea­son.

Brett Pit­man hit a stun­ning late bi­cy­cle kick as the Trac­tor Boys con­demned the West Coun­try out­fit to a fifth straight Cham­pi­onship de­feat.

Bru flicked in Tom Lawrence’s cross to give the hosts a first-half lead.

But they were pegged back by on-loan Tammy Abra­ham’s close-range ef­fort af­ter a mix-up in the Ip­wich de­fence.

But Pit­man’s fourth goal of the sea­son – against his former club – earned Mick McCarthy’s side their sec­ond win in their last three.

“The fans, our­selves and the whole club will be happy with the win, so now we can start the new year with a vic­tory,” said Mau­ri­tius in­ter­na­tional mid­fielder Bru.

“Against Ful­ham, we didn’t show the ag­gres­sion and the iden­tity of Ip­swich, but here I think we played well and were more like our­selves.

“I’ve seen Tom Lawrence on the left and I knew he would cross on his right foot, so I just needed to touch the ball and it would go in so I’m happy.

“It was a fan­tas­tic goal [from Brett Pit­man] and I think he played well. He was good for the team and I am happy for him be­cause he was in­jured but it has been a great come­back for him.

“We’re in on Satur­day, so we have to now make sure we train well for the QPR game and hope­fully we can take some­thing from that game too.”

Bris­tol City, who have failed to win in their last 12 vis­its to Port­man Road, have now lost eight of their last nine league games – their only points in that time com­ing from a 2-0 vic­tory over Ip­swich at Ash­ton Gate ear­lier this month.

And man­ager Lee John­son knows he will need to strengthen the squad in Jan­uary to halt the slide.

“I think it’s ev­i­dent we need to do some­thing in the trans­fer mar­ket and hope­fully we can get one or two deals over the line early on in the win­dow,” said John­son, who could well have £11m from the sale of Jonathan Kod­jia to As­ton Villa to spend.

“We’ve got a young group and we need lead­ers; a bit of ex­pe­ri­ence around them.

“We def­i­nitely have tar­gets in mind and we’re in the mar­ket, which is good. Cer­tainly, we are in the mix.”

OVER IT COMES: Brett Pit­man scores his late win­ner

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