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Alex Bruce focused on Northern Ireland

Bruce focused on Northern Ireland
© PA Photos
Alex Bruce remains fully focused on football matters ahead of his first cap for Northern Ireland despite initially opting to play for the Republic of Ireland.

Alex Bruce has insisted that he is fully committed to the Northern Ireland cause ahead of his first cap for the country.

Bruce initially opted to play for the Republic of Ireland but, after only appearing in friendlies, switched his allegiances to North of the border.

Bruce acknowledged that not all Northern Ireland fans would welcome him with open arms, but is keen to make the most of whatever international opportunities come his way.

"I'm not naive enough to say I'm not aware of it but for me what's in the past is in the past and I'm just looking forward to the future. I've declared myself for Northern Ireland, Michael's given me a fantastic opportunity to play international football. Being a footballer's a short career so I'm going to make the most of the opportunity and hopefully do as well as I can," said Bruce.

"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.

"Unfortunately for Nigel he lost his job but 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."

Northern Ireland will face Malta in a friendly on Wednesday.

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Hull boss Steve Bruce watches on against Huddersfield on December 15, 2012
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