Newcastle fans faced taunts from Man City followers with questions about the lack of the "famous atmosphere" on Tyneside.
But Bruce said: "It would have been nice to get a kick of the ball, that would have given them something to shout about!
"They were terrific in the end.
"They've witnessed two great goals, and I think what they've witnessed is their team rolling up their sleeves and showing a bit of determination and from here, that's all you have to do.
"They'll get behind you, and they certainly were that.
"Towards the end, they were great in the way they got behind the team."