Burton boss Gary Rowett took plenty of positives from his side's performance against Notts County despite defeat at Meadow Lane.
Albion lost inside 90 minutes for the first time this season as their League One hosts edged to a narrow 1-0 victory in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy.
On-loan Celtic midfielder Callum McGregor scored the only goal of the first-round tie five minutes before half-time when he let fly with a low shot from 20 yards which beat goalkeeper Dean Lyness down to his left.
Rowett's side rallied in the second half with Damien McCrory, Ian Sharps and substitute Rene Howe all going close but the Magpies held on.
"We rested four or five players and it took us a while to adjust in the first half," said Rowett.
"I had to change our system to accommodate different players but we've produced a terrific second-half performance when we've moved the ball well and created chances. You won't see too many more dominant displays than ours during that period.
"As ever, I'm immensely proud of the efforts of our players. Notts County have played a very, very strong side and credit to them and Chris Kiwomya for winning but they know they have been in a game.
"The physical and mental effort we produced in going within two minutes of knocking Fulham out (of the Capital One Cup) last week has been draining and we weren't at our most fluent at Accrington (in a 1-0 win on Saturday) or in the first half here.
"But our confidence is high and we have done enough to win this tie."