Mark Trueman hailed the character of his under-18s side after their FA Youth Cup campaign came to an end at Chelsea.
The young Bantams were comprehensively beaten 5-0 away at their category-one hosts, who have won the competition for seven of the past 10 years.
However, Trueman lauded the efforts of his players and insists they can take great pride from their achievements.
City’s lead professional development coach said: “The players have given everything I could have ever asked for, as they always do.
“I spoke to a few Chelsea coaches afterwards and they said they could not believe how well we kept pressing and putting them under pressure - even when several goals down.
“I extremely proud of the lads, not just from the Chelsea game and through the cup run.
“But, over the last couple of years, myself and Connor Sellars have been working very hard with these players.
“Performances like we put in against Stoke City have shown the boys have progressed, and how far they have come as individuals.
“Despite the result, we learnt a lot from the game and the players can be proud of themselves. They are credit to the club.”
Trueman was also encouraged by how his side battled to try cope and deal with the challenge their formidable opponents presented.
The Bantams boss insisted he and his side were aware of the test they would face, making the performance even more plausible.
Trueman added: “Obviously, it was a tough game for the lads. The quality of Chelsea showed when they got into our defensive third.
“But, we created chances - especially early doors - and if those chances had have gone in, maybe the game might have been different.
“The quality of Chelsea showed through, but I have to give credit to the lads on how they kept going with their pressing and how they stuck to their principles. That is what was we were after.
“The boys showed what they can do against the big players on the big stage. Unfortunately, if you give these players the chances, they will punish you.
“At the end of the day, it is about the development, dealing against good players and handling different tests.”