Bruce - Leaving United paid off
Leeds' Alex Bruce believes leaving Manchester United as a teenager was the best move for his career.
Last Updated: 19/01/11 9:58am
Leeds United defender Alex Bruce believes leaving Manchester United as a teenager was the best move for his career.
The 26-year-old stopper tried to follow in his father Steve's footsteps and play for The Red Devils, but he was released by the club ten years ago.
Bruce was a striker when he joined United at nine years old and he was a midfielder when he left Old Trafford before being moulded into a central defender at Blackburn.
He had a loan spell with Oldham before being signed by his dad for Birmingham and he went on to play for Ipswich for four years prior to signing for Leeds last summer.
Bruce, who is preparing to tackle Arsenal in an FA Cup replay on Wednesday, owes a lot to Blackburn, although he admits his father is always on his back when his performances are not up to scratch.
"Looking back, it's probably the best thing I ever did, leaving United and going to Blackburn," Bruce told the Daily Mail.
"The academy directors there got hold of me, saw I had the makings of a centre half and began moulding me into one.
"They taught me about the position and what a winning mentality was all about, and I owe them so much.
"Your dad is always your biggest critic, and mine is no different.
"One mistake, and he will jump on it. If he doesn't, my mum's not far behind. She knows her stuff and is coming to the replay, too.
"I remember the home game with Cardiff, when Kasper and I let the ball land between us, and Jay Bothroyd nipped in to score. My dad said, "What are you doing, letting it bounce? Get your head on it, son.
"When you've got a dad who's had such a successful career, you have to get used to comparisons.
"People make judgments, but it doesn't bother me. I am very proud to be his son. He won titles and cups at United and achieved everything except an England cap, which was a complete injustice.
"I'm proud to call him my dad, and if I can turn out to be even half as good as he was, I'll be happy."
Meanwhile, Leeds manager Simon Grayson feels Theo Walcott should have been suspended after admitting diving in their 1-1 draw at Emirates Stadium.
The former Southampton winger conceded that following the full-time whistle he tried winning a penalty moments before Arsenal were awarded a spot-kick that Cesc Fabregas dispatched to claim a replay.
"I suppose he's been honest enough to admit what he did but diving's something I don't agree with," said Grayson.
"In general my rule on diving would be that anyone caught doing it should be banned for the next game. That would soon stop people trying to influence decisions.
"But I don't know what The FA could have done (to Walcott) because you can't just look at individual cases. It would need to be a set ruling from the FA or from Fifa. There are a lot of grey areas in the rules. But (a suspension) should be a given."