James Milner left it late to cancel out David Meyler's opener as the England international curled home a free-kick deep into injury time following relentless second-half pressure from the hosts.
However, after enduring some woeful recent form, including a 3-0 home defeat to Newcastle United last time out, Bruce was delighted to see his side climb out of the bottom three.
"I think that's five times that's happened to us this year - that we've conceded late on - but after last week the most important thing was the response," Bruce explained.
"That was a bit more like the team I've had the pleasure of managing for the last two-and-a-half years.
"They've shown [enough] resilience and determination in my opinion to hang on and win the match because my goalkeeper has made only one save.
"We got a bit deep in the second half, which is only normal, but with our first-half performance we could have gone further ahead.
"But I'm disappointed for them because they've played so well."
Hull's draw represents their first point in the Premier League since their New Year's Day victory over Everton, with Bruce also having had to contend with a lengthy injury list in recent weeks.
"It's been an awful 10 or 12 weeks for us, with one thing or another," he added.
"But hopefully that can galvanise the squad and bring the confidence and belief that has ebbed away.
"If we keep playing like that, we'll come back [to the Etihad] next season because that's the aim of the club and that's what we want to do."
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