Darren Bent and Kenwyne Jones helped themselves to two goals each as Sunderand got back to winning ways against Wolves.
However the score line only tells half the story. After Jones dispatched his first to make it 2-0 Wolves came roaring back to draw level at 2-2 with the home side's defence looking alarmingly fragile.
But despite the unease at the back Jones and Bent either side of a header from Michael Turner made sure of the points at the Stadium of Light.
"We go from the ridiculous to the sublime but the one thing we have got is we have got a threat upfront in those two and they have got us out of jail today," Bruce said.
"But the rest, obviously defensively we have to improve on and that is what we will single out as a team, and I am not just singling out defenders I am singling out the whole team because there are times when we go into meltdown."
Bruce put the shaky defensive display down to the fact that a number of the players starting the match were only signed in the summer with Paulo Da Silva and John Mensah in particular making their first Premier League starts.
"We gave the ball away too often we made huge changes and there were six or seven in the team today and that's going to take time," he added.
"Two were making their Premier League debut they had a wonderful game in midweek so I left it with them but two games in three or four days maybe it was a bit too much after they had not played for two or three months but you take a bit of responsibility there.
Defensive improvements"But we will work on it and we have to get better because there is a big expectation here and we have to handle the expectation that is around us but as I said we will take it but it was never 5-2 we will be honest and try and improve."
Bent allowed Jones to step up and take Sunderland's second penalty of the game, after he had already slotted the first, and although the Trinidad and Tobago man found the net Bruce, who superstitiously doesn't watch his side's spot-kicks, announced a similar exchange would not be happening again.
"It was a good job he scored," he declared.
"I have a silly superstition that I don't really watch them and he scored but it won't be happening again."
Despite the poor performance the former Birmingham chief accepted that he was happy with his side's start to the season.
"We are delighted we have got three points and we have had a decent start and 12 points on the board considering the changes we have made is terrific," he enthused.
"But we are not going to get carried away. Anyone that witnessed today knew it wasn't a 5-2 and there were alarming mistakes as I have said we must make sure are better than that."