Bruce believes the £5 million summer signing from France, who took over from Dean Whitehead as his captain, typifies the spirit he demands.
The Sunderland boss said: "The personnel has changed a bit here and the captain certainly helps because he leads by example. He does not take any nonsense.
"I am not saying we are the real deal because a week ago, I was raging over the performance at Birmingham but we are going along nicely and just have to make sure that we keep bodies fit.
"That is the big problem we are going to have plus Cana is suspended now."