City relinquished their long-held status as league leaders last weekend, with United now a point ahead of their local rivals.
Bruce refers back to his days at Old Trafford, when the Red Devils "choked" and blew their lead to Leeds United in 1992 before finally ending the club's 26-year wait for the title the following year.
In an extensive interview about his playing and management career, Bruce also talks about English clubs struggling in Europe, why managers are not given enough time in their jobs and why he won't be writing any more novels.
The vital thing is the relationship you have with the people who employ you - the chief executive, the owner and the board of directors. I think that's paramount, it's important that there is the potential of a good working relationship. You then have to weigh up the size of the club, where it is, what its ambitions are and where it wants to go next.
I think there are very few managers who get the time that the hard work before the job merits. I think nowadays you're working for five or six years to get all your coaching badges and qualifications before you can go into management, and you very rarely get the time at all levels of the game. The lower leagues are sometimes overlooked because they're not as high profile, but I think the average amount of time those managers get in the job is about 14 months, which is quite ridiculous. That is the thing that has changed the most - you have to make an instant impact or you are in troubled waters already. It's an uphill battle. So it's vitally important you know the people who are employing you, and that they will give you the time you require.
I think I have to go back to when I got my break to manage in the Barclays Premier League. When I took over at Birmingham it was Christmas time and we went on a great run to get into the play-offs, and we went up in the same year. When you take a club into the Premier League your biggest challenge is to keep them up, and we did that pretty comfortably for three years at Birmingham. That's the big one.
You could also say when I took over Wigan when they were bottom, and we survived. Or coming 10th with Sunderland, which was their third highest finish in 50-odd years. I think just managing in the Premier League for 10 or 11 years is an achievement in itself.
I've done a few different things. I had a winter holiday, and went to watch England play cricket in Dubai. Unfortunately we got whitewashed in the Test series so I think I jinxed it. But it is a culture shock not being in management, where you are working 24/7 - your phone goes quiet, and you don't have those early starts. I always used to get up at half-past six, but this morning I got up at 10-past nine, which is unheard of.
I'm waiting for the right opportunity. I've had a couple of things that didn't work out for one reason or another, but I'm looking to get back if the job is right.
At one stage during discussions I thought I was close, but unfortunately for me they went down a different route. That's all I can say, basically. I went for an interview, I went to speak to them and the following week I thought I was close, but they have gone for Terry Connor. It's hard, your first managerial job, he's got a difficult job but I genuinely wish him all the best. He's a good man, a real football man, and I wish him the best of luck.
It's quite staggering, and a lot of credit has to go to the owner. I know Delia (Smith) and her husband, they have ploughed a lot of money into Norwich. Two years ago they were in the third tier - to get back-to-back promotions then have a comfortable ride in the Premier League this year is testimony to Paul and his staff, and the group of players that have been with him for a couple of years. Hats off to them.
Players like Grant Holt, who has been in the Football League all his life. To finally get a crack, and do so well, is fantastic. I had such a great time there, and they gave me a chance at the top level, so I always look out for Norwich.
Of course they have missed Vidic but Jonny Evans has now played over 20 league games and has very quietly done extremely well. He's only 23, he's played in big games and has handled himself brilliantly. Chris Smalling and Phil Jones have got all the headlines because they've had a meteoric rise, but I think Jonny Evans has done particularly well in filling the gap left by Vidic.
It's also important that Rio Ferdinand has come back and just given them that stability. I think defenders get better with age. Even though you might lose that half-yard of pace, it gets easier. The art of defending lies in your concentration levels, and that is something which gets easier with age. It's particularly important at United, where you are constantly on the attack and you need to stay switched on even when you might not have too much to do.
I don't think we've gone backwards as much as others have got stronger. I think it's just one of those years. It would have been the first time in over 15 years that we hadn't had anyone in the quarter-finals, but we need to wait and see if it continues. If anything, it could be a wake-up call. We just expect to go into Europe and win, but maybe this is a sign that we can't always get our own way. It might be the kick up the backside we need.
They've had a wonderful run, and over January and February they have stayed the course. They had a tough run of games with matches against Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham, and they have come through that. Now it will be interesting to see Manchester City's reaction. It is the first time they have been behind in five months. In the past, once United have got in front, they have stayed there over the last eight or 10 games. In the past they have run away with it and won the league by 10 or 12 points, but I don't think that will happen this time. From a neutral standpoint, let's hope City stay with them.
We found that was the most difficult thing when we won it in '93. It doesn't matter how many talented players you have - make no mistake, you get nervous. Back in '92 we lost a hell of a lead to Leeds, and in the end we choked, if I'm being honest. But the experience of that helped us the year after. The first one is always the most difficult one.
I didn't, because there were still five games to go, including two days later at Coventry when we won 1-0 and Denis Irwin blasted one in. But those headers have become pivotal, and I could retire on them if I wanted to! But I was delighted to get the opportunity to go to Manchester United. When you go there you realise what a big club and an institution it is. To play for nearly 10 years, win trophies and captain them.... I don't really go back to the goals; to captain them for the best part of five years was a wonderful experience. It's a fantastic club.
I think all of us in that team loved the game so much. The one thing we wanted to do when we stopped playing was stay in football, and that was the natural progression. I thought maybe I would coach kids, but then I got the opportunity at Sheffield United to go into management. It's a difficult time for a footballer when you come to the end of your playing days and you want to stay in the game. You become institutionalised, in a way. I loved football, loved training, and being involved on a Saturday. So management was the next step.
I've got three books and it's going to stay that way! It was a wild time, I was young and silly, and the books were bang average. My writing days are genuinely over, there won't be any comebacks! I had a go, but it didn't work.