Bruce was confirmed as the new boss of the Black Cats on Wednesday after parting company with Wigan earlier in the day.
Northumberland-born Bruce is a self-confessed supporter of Sunderland's bitter local rivals Newcastle and has been linked with a move to St James' Park in the past.
But the former Manchester United defender, who has signed a three-year deal on Wearside, is confident he already has the backing of the majority of fans.
ProudSpeaking at his first press conference as Sunderland boss, shown live on Sky Sports News, he said: "I think they like one of their own from the North East.
"It's results on the pitch that matter. I hope I can win over the few doubters I have. The vast majority of what I've seen is positive.
"I'm proud to sit here and be Sunderland manager," he added. "Unless you're born up here, you don't really realise what it means.
"It's a working class area. It was born in me and bred in me that I only got there with hard work. I wasn't blessed with any huge ability.
"I got there with a bit of hard graft and a bit of determination and I want my team to mirror that.
"I'm going to give everyone a chance. I've got the chance to work with the players for a good few weeks before the transfer deadline.
"Whatever happened in the past, I'm not really interested in. To start with I want to give every single one of them a chance. We have some good players here and I want to have a good look."
SteelChairman Niall Quinn expects Bruce to add some backbone to a team which only secured their Premier League status on the final day of the season.
"There are times - and the players would admit this - when we've been brittle," he said. "We've made some giant strides and some backwards steps.
"I believe the thing that's been missing is steel.
"[Bruce] will forgive a player working hard if their passing goes astray, but what he won't forgive is not working.
"He was top of the list, we had some very good candidates, but I think Steve is the perfect fit."