Bruce targets top two

Leeds stopper eyes Premier League

Last Updated: 29/01/11 5:00pm

Alex Bruce says Leeds United have set their sights on an automatic promotion place this season.

"We grew up in Cheshire, he was my next door neighbour and every day after school we used kick balls at each other, which used to send all the neighbours a bit mad!"

Alex Bruce

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United are currently sixth in the Championship, just two points off second-placed Cardiff and he believes the club are well placed to mount a serious challenge for a top two finish.

Simon Grayson's men have exceeded expectations following promotion from League 1 last season, and Bruce is confident of making it back-to-back promotions.

"I think you have to set your sights high," he told Soccer AM.

"We're not many points off the top two; we've had a difficult Christmas period and we're still in there with a shout and obviously we're in the mix for the play-offs.

"So we've got to try and kick on and get a few results and then if we can try and push up towards the top two that's what we'll be aiming for."

The son of former Manchester United legend, Steve Bruce, Alex joined Leeds in the summer following the club's promotion.

On arriving at Elland Road he was re-united with Kasper Schmeichel, son of another Manchester United legend, Peter.

The pair, who grew up together, spent many evenings honing their skills on the streets of Cheshire and he admitted it felt odd playing alongside his childhood friend professionally.

He said: "We grew up in Cheshire, he was my next door neighbour and every day after school we used to kick balls at each other, which used to send all the neighbours a bit mad!

"But now we're playing with each other so it's a bit bizarre, but sometimes in football you have strange circumstances."

Sick

As well as strange circumstances, football is often the subject of strange rituals and superstitions and they don't get any stranger than Bruce's!

The 26-year-old can often be found hunched over being sick shortly after emerging for the second-half of games, but he was at a loss to explain what brought it on.

"I don't know what it is and it's not every second half - just now and again" he said. "Kasper gives me a rollicking every time I do it.

"Whatever I have to drink at half-time, whether I go into a hot dressing room and then out into the cold again - it just knocks me a little bit sick.

"I'm fine in the dressing room, but as soon as I get out and get up to have a run around, I don't know what happens, it's just a weird thing that goes on but I'm absolutely fine.

"I try and do it next to Kasper now because he gives me so much stick!"