Each side is looking to return to the top flight at the first time of asking, both having suffered Premier League relegation in the 2015-16 season.
Bruce admits he inherited a club in a "mess" after taking Villa to the final.
Jack Grealish, their cult hero, was again outstanding as Villa endured a frequently unbearable 90 minutes to finish off the job on their own turf, in front of over 40,000 fans.
"We can't take anything for granted; if we think we can show up and just put our boots on then we're mistaken".
Villa hold a slender 1-0 lead over Middlesbrough ahead of tonight's Sky Bet Championship play-off second leg in Birmingham. Cardiff also secured automatic promotion, pipping Fulham to second place on the final day.
While Traore was by no means the only Boro player to come unstuck against Aston Villa, Tony Pulis' side are heavily reliant on his talent as they failed to create any real goalscoring chances.
"It was agony towards the end, if I'm being honest".
A third consecutive clean sheet and Villa are certain to be in the Premier League next season - unless a 0-0 draw results in a penalty shootout defeat that is.
The two teams will be competing for a chance to play Fulham in the final at Wembley after the Cottagers overturned a first leg deficit to beat Derby County 2-1 on aggregate, winning 2-0 at home on Monday evening.
He said: "It's a big club, history and tradition and you need big players". "We're going to Wembley, let's enjoy it".