Bruce, who has established something of a reputation for unearthing previously unheralded talent - skipper Lorik Cana has already achieved cult hero status - was delighted with Da Silva's authority against a side which started the day in second place in the table.
He said: "Paulo was absolutely tremendous. In my experience with all the South Americans, they take time to adapt and adjust and get used to the north-east - it takes me long enough!
"But he is an outstanding defender and I thought he was magnificent in his overall performance.
"And the good thing about him is he is never rash, he is calm and a very, very good defender. He was excellent."