The current Hull City boss said that the Uruguayan will not be able to introduce his "open and expansive" style of play overnight.
"It is a difficult job. As everyone knows they have had five managers in five years and it just proves how difficult it is," Bruce told talkSPORT.
"A manager is only as good as his players. The better and bigger players you have got, the easier the job becomes. There is no magic wand to management.
"There might be somebody who changes the philosophy and changes the style but if you are going to do that you need time. Gus Poyet played open and expansive football at Brighton. If he is to do that at Sunderland, he must be given time."