Alex Bruce hopes his solid debut performance for Leeds will persuade manager Simon Grayson to keep him in the side to face Nottingham Forest at the City Ground on Sunday (1.15pm).

Bruce, 25, came into the defence in place of club captain Richard Naylor for the 4-0 Carling Cup first-round victory over Lincoln on Tuesday night and hardly put a foot wrong alongside Neill Collins.

Naylor, who was rested against the Imps, is available for this weekend’s Championship game but Grayson made a point of praising the Bruce-Collins partnership after the cup success and Bruce is bursting to play against Forest.

“I was very happy that we kept a clean sheet on my debut,” said Bruce, the son of Sunderland manager Steve.

“I am sure the manager bought me from Ipswich to play games but Richard Naylor is captain of the club so I will have to wait and see what happens.

“Hopefully I have done enough to keep my place but if I haven’t then I will work hard in training to earn my place the following week.

“It was positive to hear the manager say he was happy with the partnership between me and Neill but I am taking nothing for granted.”

United lost their opening league game of the season against Derby and Bruce said: “It is massively important to get a first league win because you want to hit the ground running.

“Unfortunately we didn’t get the right result against Derby but we will be looking to put that right in a difficult game at Forest.

“As you could see from last Saturday’s results, you can’t predict how matches will go in this division.

“Even though the City Ground is a difficult place to go, hopefully we can do well and get the right result.”

United’s home Carling Cup second-round tie against Leicester during the week starting August 23 will provide a rehearsal for the Championship meeting between the sides at Elland Road on Tuesday, October 19.