Saturday's 2-0 defeat at Tottenham Hotspur keeps Hull two points adrift of safety in the Barclays Premier League and only able to catch Newcastle United and Sunderland above them. Sunderland also have a game in hand, so could be safe if they can take an unlikely-looking point away from a meeting with Arsenal at the Emirates on Wednesday night.
Bruce was rueing the lack of a cutting edge at White Hart Lane on Saturday, and must now hope that his former side Manchester United - where he made over 300 appearances under Alex Ferguson - have their minds elsewhere next Sunday, when Hull must take all three points and hope that Newcastle don't win at home to West Ham United.
Speaking to Hull City's official website, Bruce said: “We have a chance. Is there one final twist? Can we upset the apple cart? Let’s hope we can do it. We have to believe we can beat Manchester United next week.”
Bruce has two reasons for hoping Arsenal can defeat Sunderland on Wednesday night. Firstly it keeps the Black Cats in the relegation mix on the final day - when Sunderland must travel to champions Chelsea - and secondly it will mean that Manchester United can finish no higher than fourth in the table, and therefore must qualify for the Champions League via a preliminary round.
With this in mind, Bruce will have been cheering Arsenal's equaliser in the 1-1 draw at Old Trafford yesterday - via Theo Walcott's deflected cross - in the hope that Arsenal secure third spot on Wednesday night, and therefore his old club visit the KC Stadium on Sunday in a relaxed mode and with nothing to play for.
Given Manchester United's improved campaign under Louis van Gaal it is a small thread to cling on to for Hull, but such fine margins could make all the difference as they battle to secure their Premier League status.