Bruce was not appointed until the days before the club’s first pre-season game, with the club already away in China.
And the majority of their summer work was not done until the final week of the transfer window – four of their five signings were added in the final six days before deadline day in August.
With that inability to broker deals early, comes risks – and Bruce thinks United are feeling a bit of that now, with TEN players a doubt, or nursing injuries ahead of the visit of Watford to St James’s Park tomorrow.
“I always though it was going to be a problem which would catch up with us,” said Bruce.
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“Pre-season was interrupted, of course, and the sheer toll and people coming in who haven't done pre-seasons, it's always a difficult situation, especially the lads who have just walked through the door getting used to the Premier League.
“Their deals probably lasted for two or three weeks where they're not training with their club and all the stuff that goes with it.
“But we've just had one or two nasty injuries which obviously you can't prevent.”
Dwight Gayle, Andy Carroll and Florian Lejeune remain long-term absentees, while DeAndre Yedlin is edging closer to a return.
Joelinton and Miguel Almiron were not in the squad in midweek, while Allan Saint-Maximin and Matt Ritchie are out.
Jetro Willems and Emil Krafth are doubts, while Jamaal Lascelles, Christian Atsu and Sean Longstaff should be OK.