The Magpies had suffered back-to-back defeats to open the season and Bruce and his team had come under fire as a result.
But they defeated last season’s Champions League finalists 1-0 at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Sunday evening thanks to a Joelinton goal and a heroic defensive performance.
Bruce said both the result and his team’s display would buy him and his team time to gel after a tempestuous close-season.
“We needed a bit of courage and thankfully the players had that from the first whistle,” the 58-year-old told BBC Sport.
“We have tried to quieten the storm. Hopefully that will shut a few people up a little bit. After two games, it’s been hard to get that criticism. We have had to ride it.
“I hope that gives us a little bit of time. It is only the first win, but we have seen some big performances today.
“The only thing you can do is show that it means something to play for the club. All week we have been working on it.”
Club-record singing Joelinton, who joined from Hoffenheim for £35 million ($44m) this summer, opened his account with a cool finish from a Christian Atsu cross.
Bruce admitted that he had not fully utilized the Brazilian forward's strengths so far, but also highlighted the difficulties of bedding players in who are new to English football.
“A lot of the players have only been here for a matter of weeks and it takes time to get used to the Premier League," Bruce said.
“I am delighted that Joelinton got the goal today. We played him a lot better today, it worked and he will be delighted to get the goal.”
While their new No. 9 did bag a goal it was not all good news for new faces on Tyneside.
Winger Allan Saint-Maximin, signed from Nice for £16 million ($19m) this summer, limped off after just over 15 minutes of his first start for the Toon Army.