City manager Derek Adams admitted his Bantams were “not good enough” - following their 3-0 defeat to Manchester United Under-21s in the Papa John’s Trophy.
The Bantams conceded three second-half goals as they fell to defeat the Utilita Energy Stadium, all but ending their hopes of qualification for the knockout stages.
Adams insisted his side was deservedly beaten on the night against the talented Manchester-based outfit.
He said: “Unfortunately for us, we were not good enough on the night.
“We always want to win every game but we have a situation where we have got a few injuries. At this moment in time, it is about protecting the squad.
“It gives our players an idea as to what it is like to play against some of the most talented players in the country.
“In the first half, they competed well. In the second half, we still created some openings but, as we have said for most of this season, we have not been getting in that penalty box to get the goals.”
The Scotsman also took reflected on the opportinity the encounter gave him to present some players with an opportunity for game time.
Adams made a total of 10 changes to the starting 11 from Saturday’s 1-1 draw at home to Barrow.
He added: “We have given players an opportunity on the night. We made 10 changes to the team and gave everyone the chance to get game time.
“It gives the supporters an opportunity to see other players perform because, at times, supporters want to see different personnel in the team and they have seen everyone this season now.
“We only had three new squad members out there on the pitch tonight. The rest of the players have been here for a very long period of time. Every one of these players should know each other.”