Arsenal v Leeds United: We proved our promotion credentials - Bruce

Alex Bruce claimed Leeds United's performance against Arsenal was proof that promotion was "there for the taking" as the club's attention turned back to the Championship today.

The 26-year-old defender – an outstanding presence in United's side during their 1-1 draw at the Emirates Stadium – said the club were entitled to see their dramatic FA Cup tie as confirmation that they can find a way into the Premier League this season.

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Leeds were expected to earn more than 500,000 from Saturday's tie in London and a second game against Arsenal has guaranteed the club another major injection of revenue midway through the January transfer window.

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Grayson's squad have a league game at home to Scunthorpe United scheduled before Arsenal's arrival in Yorkshire and Bruce said victory in that fixture was necessary to protect their chance of winning promotion from the Championship at the first attempt.

"A result like this (against Arsenal) can only help us in the league," Bruce said. "To put on a performance like that at the Emirates shows what we are capable of.

"If we can do it there then why can't we do it anywhere and go on and get promotion? I believe promotion is there for the taking.

"What we mustn't do, though, is concentrate solely on the replay. The league's our priority and Scunthorpe at home is what matters now."

Bruce was named in United's starting line-up for the first time in five matches on Saturday, replacing Neill Collins in the centre of defence.

The former Ipswich Town player – one of Simon Grayson's many summer signings – turned in his finest performance for Leeds, fighting his way through to full-time despite suffering a knee injury which threatened to curtail his appearance at the end of the first half.

Bruce refused to be despondent over Fabregas' dramatic equaliser, saying: "We were so close but if we'd been offered a draw before the game then we'd have taken it.

"We can be very proud of how we played and how we approached the game.

"Manchester City went there a few days earlier and were more defensive than us.

"We tried to attack and take the game to them. To get Arsenal back to Elland Road is a great result."

Bruce was one of two players drafted into United's line-up on Saturday, a less high-profile addition than Sanchez Watt.

The winger, who is on loan at Leeds from Arsenal, was granted permission by his parent club to play in the third-round tie and gave a lively display for 76 minutes.

"I felt strange and under pressure because all eyes would be on me," Watt said.

"I didn't want to let myself or Leeds down. But it would be great to play against Arsenal again in the replay and I hope it can happen."

The winners of the replay will earn a home tie against Huddersfield Town in round four, due to be staged on the weekend of January 29 and 30.

The Terriers saw off non-league Dover 2-0 in the third round on


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