Bradford failed to repeat last season's Capital One Cup heroics but manager Phil Parkinson was far from downhearted.
The Bantams caused shockwaves last term when they became the first fourth-tier side to reach the final in over half a century.
They put out Premier League teams Wigan, Arsenal and Aston Villa on the way to Wembley but crashed down to earth with defeat at West Yorkshire neighbours Huddersfield on Tuesday night.
James Vaughan scored either side of the break to end City's involvement in this year's competition, but Parkinson said: "If there was a good game to lose, this was it."
Parkinson had six of his first team, including Nahki Wells, James Hanson and Gary Jones, on the bench.
He said: "We did exactly the same at this stage last season. We wanted to give other players a game. It's a great opportunity to get minutes under their belt.
"We have good strength in depth now. Last season the starting XI didn't have much below it but we are starting to put a squad together."
Vaughan, signed by the Terriers for £1million from Norwich this summer, struck the opener from 20 yards three minutes before the break.
Goalkeeper Jon McLaughlin should have done better and Parkinson said: "Jon should have saved it. He's a good shot stopper and you would expect him to save it.
"Huddersfield had two chances and put the ball in the back of the net. The two goals were crucial."