The Tigers set out at the start of January with the target of holding on to the loan players and short-term signings who had played such a major part in putting the club on course for a possible Premier League return.
Permanent deals to sign Robbie Brady and David Meyler for a combined £3.5m duly followed, while David Stockdale returned on loan. Then, on deadline day, the key recapture of Ahmed Elmohamady from Sunderland arrived to the delight of supporters along with hugely experienced Egyptian international duo, Gedo and Ahmed Fathi.
Bruce said: “It was a busy final day for us and I have to be pleased with what we did in the window.
“I said at the start of January that the priority had to be holding on to what we had and, even though Elmo went back to Sunderland for a while, we did just that.
“All of them had been playing so well for us that it was vital we kept the squad together.”
The only disappointment of deadline day came when Blackburn Rovers hijacked a move for striker DJ Campbell.
A deal for the 31-year-old QPR man had seemed dead a week ago due to his apparent desire to stay in London but City revived talks and were hopeful of clinching the transfer.
Campbell even underwent a medical in Yorkshire on Thursday morning only to then be tempted to Blackburn. In a bizarre twist, however, Rovers failed to register the paperwork in time and the striker returned to London.
Tempering Bruce’s disappointment, however, was the capture of Egyptian pair Gedo and Fathi from Al Ahly on loan until the end of the season.
Bruce, whose squad are fresh from a four-day warm weather training camp in Portugal, said: “They have a huge amount of experience. In Egypt, they play in front of 75,000 fans per week for a big club so nothing is likely to faze them.
“I realise the owner being Egyptian will lead people to thinking it is a big part of the deal. But while it helped, Egypt is somewhere I have looked before as it is an untapped market.”