The two clubs meet again tonight in the Capital One Cup.
"It was a huge effort from the side, especially the ones who did so well for us last year and have been waiting for their chance," said Bruce to the Hull Daily Mail.
"Paul McShane, Alex (Bruce), George Boyd and David Meyler, they've all been champing at the bit.
"Let's not forget the great job the four of them did for the club last year, they all played a huge part in getting us promoted.
"All they've wanted is a go at the next level. I've said to them all their chance would come.
"It's not easy to accept that as players sometimes but they were always going to get a go in the side.
"The key was to seize that chance when it came along and they've all done that."
For the big stories and the banter follow us on Twitter: @tribalfootball