Four goals in as many games at the start of the new campaign won the 26-year-old a place in the England squad for the recent Euro 2012 qualifiers against Bulgaria and Switzerland.
He got his chance as a 70th-minute replacement for the injured Jermain Defoe in Basle and 18 minutes later, fired home a first senior goal for his country in a 3-1 victory.
Bruce was delighted for a player whose international claims he backed all last season, and with Defoe facing a lengthy spell on the sidelines with damaged ankle ligaments, he is urging him to stake his claim after being left out of the squad for the ill-fated World Cup campaign in South Africa.
He said: "Darren could easily have sulked and gone away and moped, but he has come back and made sure he has given himself every opportunity again, which is terrific. Now with Jermain Defoe missing, maybe it might be his chance."