The defender was impressed with the side's performance against Tottenham in Sunday's 1-0 defeat, despite being hit by a string of injuries to a number of first-team regulars
The Tigers face Tottenham at White Hart Lane for the second time in four days on Wednesday night in the fourth round, having frustrated Andre Villas-Boas' men for long periods of Sunday's Premier League meeting before succumbing to a late Roberto Soldado penalty.
But the 29-year-old defender, son of Hull boss Steve, says Hull can take heart from a spirited display, and lauded the performances of a largely understrength side with a host of regular first-teamers currently sidelined.
"It's a squad game nowadays. You can't rely on 11 players in a season or you're going to be struggling," Bruce told reporters.
"You need to utilise the squad because you can't play the same XI week in, week out. You've got to have a strong 18 or 22 players who, when called upon, have got to do a job.
"I think the lads who came in [during Sunday's game] did that. We defended very well, had a game plan and stuck to it.
"We can't dwell on the result. There are a lot of established Premier League teams who won't play as well as we did at White Hart Lane and that has to give us encouragement."