Ryan Farrell was pleased with the account his young City side gave, as they valiantly bowed out of the FA Youth Cup with a 3-1 defeat to Chelsea.
Goals from Tudor Mendel-Idowu, Leo Castledine and Zain Silcott-Duberry sent the category-one Blues through to the fourth round, despite Isaac Robinson netting a spectacular free-kick after half an hour.
Farrell felt his side was competitive throughout and, while acknowledging that the mistakes made in the game cost the Bantams, City's lead professional development phase coach can draw from the experience.
He said: “It was a great experience for us, to play against a side with that quality. I thought in the first half we competed really well and gave a good account of ourselves as a whole.
“We were unlucky with few mistakes that we conceded from, and the players will be disappointed in there with how those goals were conceded.
“We scored a fantastic free-kick through Isaac, but with the one-on-one, he will be disappointed. From set pieces, I thought we looked a threat, and we have worked on them a fair bit, but the moments we conceded, I thought we could have done better.
“We competed for large spells, especially in the first half. We controlled possession, which is our identity, and that is something we want to do. To do it against an academy like Chelsea is rewarding for us as staff and rewarding for the players, to know that they can compete at this level.
“We have had a two-week break after Christmas and you could see we were a little bit tired towards the end of the game, and that did play a part, but on the whole the players gave a great account of themselves, and they should be proud.”
Farrell praised City’s attacking play and was lauded Robinson, who scored City’s only goal in the game with a sublime free-kick.
Farrell added: “I thought he gave us a lot a going forward, and has just got that quality at set-pieces and in open play, but he will be disappointed with the one-on-one chance, because he is normally really good in those moments.
“We will have tough games going forward, but I do not think we will play a team of this quality again. Obviously, we will try to arrange extra games where we can play against category-one teams and test ourselves further.
“We have a lot to play for in terms of our development in the league and cup competitions. There is a lot of development to be made and we will continue progressing.
“We will analyse the game, and then have two games next week - with one in the cup on Tuesday against Rotherham and a game next Friday against Harrogate Town, so the games are coming thick and fast.”