Mark Hughes felt City deserved better than the heavy scoreline they were defeated by, after losing 4-0 at Burton Albion in the Papa Johns Trophy.
City advanced through Northern Group H despite falling at the Pirelli Stadium.
The Welshman admitted City lacked the concentration in certain moments but overall, praised the competitiveness of the team, as the Bantams advanced to the second round of the competition.
He said: “I thought our lads acquitted themselves well, to the level Burton are at.
“There were a number of setbacks throughout the game that we could not handle. We had a couple of individual errors that cost us.
“I do not think the scoreline was justifiable. I thought throughout the game we were competitive.
“We were strong enough, especially against a team at a higher level.
“The game will help the players come on, and learn from their performances.
“It was not the result we wanted, but I am not too disappointed because they kept going until the end, so credit to them.
The game saw the return of Abo Eisa in claret and amber, making his first appearance of the season after recovering from an injury, and Hughes was pleased to see him back on the field.
“It is really important for him,” Hughes added.
“The 15 minutes he had was really good for him in his development.
“We just need to continue getting him integrated back into the side.
“He has being training with us for a long time; a few setbacks have knocked his recent development, so to see him back is great for the team.
“Everyone is hoping he does well, as he can be a danger to any opposition.”