After seeing his side put in a warrior's performance at Wembley to narrowly lose the FA Cup final to Arsenal, Hull City Bruce can have few criticisms of his team.
The tide seemed to turn when Alex Bruce, the manager's son, was forced to exit proceedings midway through the second half with an injury. Bruce Junior had been outstanding at the centre of the Hull defence, throwing his body at anything that came his way, and fellow Manchester United graduate Paul McShane struggled to have the same impact once he took the 29-year-old's place.
That's not to say the Tigers defence didn't continue to put in a strong performance in Bruce's absence, but they lacked the ferocity of the former Ipswich man, who demonstrated power and desire his dad would have been proud of.
With the Hull manager playing three central defenders for much of the season, former Manchester United captain Bruce discussed the possibility of bringing in a fellow Old Trafford legend to provide that extra bit of class and experience at the back next year..
Rio Ferdinand has already confirmed he is leaving Old Trafford, and it looks like he will be a player much in demand, not least from a manager who knows a thing or two about defending himself.
Bruce told Sky Sports: "We've cast an eye over a few things, I haven't looked into that [signing Ferdinand] yet. Rio has been a wonderful player... who knows?
"If he fancies a game, once we've got over the weekend, then I'll see if we'll give him a call."