Date:Monday January 1 2007
Steve Bruce has blamed the absence of key players as the reason for todays defeat against Ipswich.
Speaking on the official site after the 1-0 loss, the manager said the absence of vital players played a big part in the teams second below par performance since Christmas Day.
Even Bruce admitted we were lucky against Luton, and it seems the team failed to learn from their errors today as we allowed Ipswich to sneak all 3 points with a last minute goal.
'First and foremost we didn't do enough to win the game.
'I think we missed some key players who were out today, such as Mehdi Nafti and, in particular, Cameron Jerome.
'He had an Achilles injury which was very sore but we thought maybe we could get half an hour out of him.
'Unfortunately he aggravated it again when he went out to warm up in the second half and that's why he wasn't introduced to the fray.
'We missed his pace and power away from home today.
'And we also missed Nafti's experience in the centre of the park.
'But I am not making any excuses and all credit to Ipswich.
'I thought today we were a bit edgy and nervous and Ipswich played particularly well but this is what we've got to expect.
'People have been telling me that Ipswich played the best that they have done in weeks and that is because they want to go out and play against the top team in the division.
'We have got to handle that expectation when you are top of the league because you are there to be shot at but I am sure we've got the equipment to do it.
'All in all we have come through the Christmas period with six points and there is still a gap of six points between us and the third team.
'We have been beaten for only the second time in 15 games and we are still in a very strong position.
'We now have to dust ourselves down and get on with it.
'There are going to be some twists and turns as we have seem with some of the results today.'
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