Hughes' Manchester City face Wigan today and Bruce admits he's still upset over losing his former Birmingham No2 Mark Bowen .
The pair fell out when Bruce was at Birmingham and Hughes was manager of Wales. Hughes tried to tempt Bruce's assistant Bowen to become a permanent part of the Welsh set-up.
Although Bruce initially won the battle, Bowen did later quit to join up with Hughes.
And before long he was installed as Blackburn's assistant when Hughes took the job in 2004.
That was followed by Robbie Savage also heading to Rovers against Bruce's wishes.
Bruce said: "We are not really pals although I have a mutual respect for him.
"I don't think I have spoken to him for him years. The Mark Bowen issue tainted it a bit."