Despite the fact that Robbie Blake has been forced to carve a niche for himself at Birmingham City in the shadow of three footballing heavyweights the former Burnley striker is doing quite nicely according to first team coach Eric Black.
Since his move to the Midlands in January's transfer window Blake has found first-team opportunities limited by the presence of England international Emile Heskey, Uruguayan Walter Pandiani and Republic of Ireland regular Clinton Morrison.
That has resulted in the 29-year-old starting just three times in four months, with nine other appearances as substitute, and caused some to doubt Blake's ability to play in the top flight.
Critics cite his first unsuccessful spell among the elite when as a young man he helped fire Bradford City into uncharted territory only to end both of the Bantams' campaigns out on loan.
But after a goal within a minute of coming on in the grudge match against Blackburn Rovers last Saturday, his first from open play for Bruce's side, things at last seem to be looking up for the Teessider.
"He's got things to his game that other players don't have, so there's no reason why he can't go and challenge," said Black.
"I think he's definitely got the attributes to cut it in the Premiership and we're continuing to work on and the bits and pieces that he needs to improve in his game.
"If he gets a good preseason inside him and he gets a bit of confidence there's no reason why he can't be a major contributor to the side next season.
"The goal against Blackburn was really good for Robbie because he works so hard in training," said Black.
"I must admit there was no one else at the club that I'd rather the chance would have fallen to."
Not because he is the sort of clinical finisher Pandiani, or even Morrison, might claim to be but more because of Blake's innate footballing intelligence.
"He's more the sort of striker that comes off the front and links up between the opposition defence and midfield players than an out and out striker.
"That's his style of play and he causes people problems because of the areas he plays in. He's got an exceptionally good touch and he's as good a finisher as I've seen as well."
The tension between St Andrew's and Ewood Park looks set to be exacerbated in the summer after it emerged that Mark Hughes, the Blackburn manager, is set to pip Blues them to the signature of Chelsea striker Mikael Forssell in the summer.
Hughes will ask his old team if Rovers can borrow the Finnish striker on loan for next season thereby scuppering Blues' hopes of setting-up a deal for the man who shot them to Premiership safety last season.
Forssell left St Andrew's in December after a second season with the club was cut short by a knee injury but, having sat on the Chelsea bench for the last few weeks, is now fit and ready to return to action.
Bruce would like Forssell back at Birmingham and will be fuming that Hughes, his old Manchester United teammate, is once again causing him problems after the Robbie Savage farce.
Meanwhile midfielder Neil Kilkenny faces a nervous finale to his loan spell at Oldham Athletic as the Lancashire side's fight to retain their League One status goes down to the wire this weekend.
The 'Latics entertain Bradford City on the last day of the Coca Cola league season knowing only a win will guarantee their survival in the division and Kilkenny will be anxious to return to the side having been dropped to the bench for their last match.
The 19-year-old England youth international has gained valuable first team experience at Oldham, clocking up 30 starting appearances as the former Arsenal trainee looks to learn his trade well enough to force his way into Bruce's plans.