It's all about mental strength for Birmingham City now as they head for the Walkers Stadium tonight looking for the victory over Leicester City that will leapfrog them back into the Championship's top two.
Saturday's 2-1 win over Southampton, coupled with Derby County's shock defeat at Ipswich, has put promotion back in Blues' own hands. And seemingly the only thing that stands in their way tonight is this season's unhappy habit of fouling up against the Championship's lesser teams.
Of the 11 league defeats they have suffered, nine have been against teams from the bottom third, most recently the poor Easter double against Burnley and Barnsley that seemed to have thrown them completely off course.
But, even against a Leicester City side now just two points clear of trouble after losing their first game under the leadership of caretaker manager Nigel Worthington on Saturday, surely tonight's game is a big enough occasion for Blues not to switch off again.
The vital introduction of Andy Cole just at the right time, coupled with the return from injury of chief midfield cog Stephen Clemence, has had a major effect.
"The points we've lost against teams at the bottom end is a frustration," said Bruce."And we certainly seem to have saved our best performances for the bigger games. But every game at this stage is a big game. And we've got a player for big occasions in Andy Cole."
Admittedly, Blues are without skipper Damien Johnson, who strained his hamstring on Saturday and has been told he will be out for 10 days, meaning that he misses not only tonight but Sunday's trip to Molineux to play Wolverhampton Wanderers.
But, with Neil Danns still suspended, Sebastian Larsson has recovered from illness and looks a shoo-in to replace Johnson in what, assuming Cole and Clemence have fully recovered from Saturday's efforts, will be an otherwise unchanged team. And Bruce insists that, when it comes to the mind games, his team's task is quite clear.
"The most important thing was getting a result on Saturday," said Bruce. "If we hadn't, it wouldn't have mattered about Derby. But if we win four games, we get promoted. It's as simple as that.
"Our mentality has to be to take the game to Leicester, and play with the intensity we played with against Southampton.
"I've tried to tell the players 'Have no fear'. They've lived with that pressure of being the bookies' favourites since the start of the season. This is what we're all in it for, to be in this position and I hope we're good enough."
Apart from the class shown on Saturday by Cole on his long-delayed debut, the midfield command of Clemence and Fabrice Muamba, the increasing assurance of young Colin Doyle in goal and the return to the scoresheet of Nicklas Bendtner, there were also signs that top scorer Gary McSheffrey, is back approaching his best.
Bruce hinted that, since his return from his three-game suspension, McSheffrey has actually been trying too hard.
"That can often happen," said McSheffrey. "Things can actually get worse before you get better. But hopefully I've now turned the corner and I can go to Leicester full of confidence.
"I was much happier with the way I played, and the whole team. It was a good response to two dreadful games over Easter. But this is now our game in hand, the one we've been waiting on for ages and we've got to make it count."
"I'm glad Nick [Bendtner] got his goal," said McSheffrey. "Hopefully now he'll have the confidence to kick on and we'll have the Nicklas Bendtner of old for the last four games.
"Looking back I suppose I should be happy with my return, but really I'm disappointed I haven't scored more as I'm hungry for goals and success and I had another couple of decent chances on Saturday. But the team winning is more important than me scoring."n Birmingham City have pointed out a printing error that occurred in their match- day programme on Saturday, in club president David Sullivan's 'From the Boardroom' column, which has since been repeated in various publications.
The loan package which brought Andy Cole to Blues was printed as having been 'worth over #1 million'. This should have read 'a quarter of a million pounds'.