Bruce takes his side to Newcastle on Saturday and has warned that the team he supported as a boy are "a very good side".
United's early season form - they took one point from their first two games - coupled with the widespread unease over the appointment of Joe Kinnear as director of football had many predicting a tough season on Tyneside - but Bruce believes the corner may have already been turned.
"When you see them last week winning at Villa and look at the team they can field when (Loic) Remy is fit, when (Papiss) Cisse is back, when (Hatem) Ben Arfa is fit and (Yohan) Cabaye is still there...they are a very good side, no question about it," he said.
"Like the rest of us when they are missing two, three or four big players of course it can be a problem.
"One game is a crisis in this day and age and after the first game of the season Arsenal and Newcastle were in crisis. Since then they've gone on to pick up seven points and had back to back wins. It's going to be difficult for us."
Bruce also identified Cabaye as one of several key players in the Newcastle side and thinks Alan Pardew's refusal to cave in to player pressure and sell him to Arsenal could be one of the best pieces of business in the summer transfer window.
"It's a big thing to keep hold of Cabaye," he added. "The one thing you don't want is to lose your big players and Cabaye has made a big impression in the north east. He's a very good player and they've done well to hang on to him."