Bruce inherited 28 senior outfield players when he was appointed Black Cats boss in the summer, a figure he immediately felt was too large to handle.
He has spent the last three months offloading players hoarded by the club's previous boss Roy Keane, with Roy O'Donovan becoming the 16th player to leave on either a permanent or a temporary basis when he joined Southend United on loan this week.
Bruce admits he has tended to tread more carefully at his previous clubs, but the Sunderland boss felt team spirit would suffer if he did not take drastic action immediately this time around.
"The main reason I've taken the numbers down is to try and create a spirit," he said. "Because in this huge building (the Academy of Light training ground), you're easily lost. That's why I've only got a squad of 18 or 19 now."
* Read the full story in Saturday's Sport.