Gary Bowyer was left to rue “missed opportunities” as his Bantams went down fighting at the hands of Sky Bet League One leaders Luton Town last night.
A Jack Stacey strike - 19 minutes in - handed the visiting Hatters a first-half advantage.
City had chances to score with Nathaniel Knight-Percival, David Ball and Hope Akpan going closest for the Bantams.
Manager Bowyer said: “We could have got something from the game but Luton are a very good team - and are top of the league for a reason.
“They are unbeaten in 24 games but we gave it a real good go. If you saw the way they reacted at the end of the game, it tells you what a big win it was for them.
“They realised we gave them a good game, especially in the second half. One disappointment I have is we didn’t trouble their goalkeeper enough.
“There were a few flashes across the goal and Hope Akpan had a good effort, which only just went narrowly over.
“Billy Clarke came on and nearly made an immediate impact, while David Ball felt he was brought down and should have had a penalty when through on goal.
“We tried to change the front two to give us something different, with the technical craft of Billy and the strength and speed of Omari (Patrick).
“When the momentum is going for you, and you are top of the league and winning, these situations go your way.
“But when you are in the position we are – just like Saturday’s decision against us – things are given against you.”
Results elsewhere ensured City remain only four points from safety, following an impressive 3-1 victory over play-off contending Peterborough United.
And Bowyer insists the Bantams will be well prepared for Saturday’s crucial trip to Oxford - where a win could reduce the gap to only one point.
He added: “Going into these first two games, nobody would have expected us to get anything from them.
“We have to take the information from this game and adapt it for Oxford, which we will be more than ready for.
“It is all good talking about the positives but we have to go and deliver on Saturday.
“The supporters stayed with us and were brilliant throughout. They got behind how we wanted to play and encouraged it.
“Unfortunately, it just didn’t quite work out for us against a very good Luton team.”
Tickets for Saturday's trip to Oxford are hugely limited and can be purchased at the Northern Commercials Stadium - or by CLICKING HERE.