Iron manager Graham Alexander could not fault the work ethic and desire of his team as they exited the EFL Cup against Championship side Bristol City.
Extra time was required for the Robins to edge past Scunthorpe thanks to a strike from Chelsea loanee Tammy Abraham.
"All my players absolutely gave everything they could," Alexander told The Iron PlayerHD.
"Bristol City showed their qualities and they're a top team. We probed to the end though and had opportunities to get an equaliser, but it just wasn't to be.
"Their quality showed over the 120 minutes but speaking about my players they gave everything and that's all we can ask them to do.
"That's all we can ask them to do, we're not going to win every game. We're going to come against opposition that have better quality sometimes but you have to keep digging in and going for it and we certainly did that."
Over 90 minutes, nothing could separate the teams and the United boss said his side can take massive positives going forward after more than matching their opposition from a tier above.
"Bristol romped this league a year-and-a-half ago and won the JPT with something to spare and they've improved their squad again since then," he continued.
"I thought we gave them a game and there were players from both sides cramping up towards the end and that showed the effort put in by both teams. For two teams to go toe-to-toe, that's all I could ask from my players and I think the crowd respected that.
"The reception they were given at the end, they knew every Scunthorpe player had left everything they had out on that pitch and we have to go again no Saturday."
The Iron battled back from 1-0 down to force extra time before bowing out in extra time, with the Scunthorpe boss happy his side battled until the final whistle.
"We were never out of it," he stated.
"We were constantly trying to create. They caused us problems but to a man, we stuck to the task. The players adapted really well to the changes we made. A 2-1 defeat is no disgrace to a quality team like Bristol City.
"We didn't feel inferior, we went out and competed at the best level we could and that sort of effort, commitment and quality will win us games in League One.
"There were some top performances tonight and we didn't accept defeat. We now set our sights on Saturday's game as that is now the most important game."
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