However, Newcastle, now 80%-owned by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, ended the season 11th in the division with 49 points.
United signed five players in January’s transfer window, including Kieran Trippier and Bruno Guimaraes, and Bruce pointed to the club’s transfer spend when asked about the job done by Howe.
Speaking to FourFourTwo, ex-head coach Bruce said: "Eddie’s had a lot more money to spend than I ever did, but he’s brought in some good players and improved the team. I’m very happy to acknowledge that, because Newcastle, and the fans, deserve the success.
“I worked there when everyone was talking about a potential takeover. The club needed new owners to come in to re-energise it, and I always knew that, if it came during my watch, I probably wouldn’t be hanging around for too long.
“I just hope that, a few years down the line, some of those supporters who never wanted me will look back at my time in charge and say ‘under the circumstances, Brucey didn’t do too bad a job after all’.”
Bruce – who succeeded Rafa Benitez at Newcastle in 2019 – kept the club in the Premier League for two successive seasons.
The 61-year-old – who left the club with a reported £8million pay-off – is now in charge of West Bromwich Albion.