Bruce blasts back at Ince treason jibe

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STEVE BRUCE has leapt to the defence of Tom Ince after the Hull City winger’s decision to turn his back on the England Under-21s was likened to “treason” by Piers Morgan.

The 23-year-old was a regular in Gareth Southgate’s Three Lions squad but this week he rejected the opportunity to be involved in this summer’s European Championships.

Southgate admitted his “surprise” at the decision, while several other high-profile figures have criticised Ince for the decision.

It was, however, Morgan who was most vehement in his criticism of the wideman – on loan at Derby County – on radio station TalkSport.

Morgan, sacked by the Daily Mirror in 2004 for publishing hoax picture of the Iraq war, said: “What he has done is bordering on treason.”

Bruce, on being told about the comment by The Yorkshire Post, said: “I think with the decision he has made with his father, they must have weighed up the pros and cons.

“I spoke to his father the other day and he informed me of the situation. I can only say I have never had the conversation with Tom.

“We have to respect that. But, as for treason and Piers Morgan, I won’t forget the photograph he put on the front of the Daily Mirror, that was more treason. So, how dare he?”

Bruce’s focus is on Chelsea and how City cope without top scorer Nikica Jelavic, whose knee injury could keep him out for the rest of the season.

“The reason why we pursued (Dame) N’Doye for so long was that we were always a bit wary of the serious operation that he (Jelavic) had.

“Now is the time for Abel Hernandez to fill the role. I have been very, very pleased with him. Especially over the last three or four weeks. They both have individual talents and they can both score goals.”