Shelvey had a hand in the two opening goals, cracked the bar in the first half and rammed home a wonderful free-kick which ended up being the winning goal.
Bruce said: "We all know he's a very, very good footballer. I thought his experience coming here into wide open spaces would help us. We scored from a set piece which proved to be crucial."
Bruce also paid tribute to his coaching staff after the two set-plays in the opening 22 minutes left the Hammers stunned as Shelvey orchestrated both goals.
He said: "It's something we worked on in training. We came up with a set-piece after a couple of drills.
"Fair play to my coaches, they came up with them."