Steve Bruce described Hull City's 4-1 League Cup quarter-final defeat to Manchester City as "cruel" and rued the late mistakes made by his side.
Wilfried Bony put the Premier League leaders ahead early in the first half but the Championship side battled well at the Etihad Stadium before being undone by three goals in the final 10 minutes.
Bruce was particularly frustrated with Kevin De Bruyne's two goals, which came following a poor Andrew Robertson header back to goalkeeper Eldin Jakupovic and a free-kick which eluded two men on the goal-line.
"It's cruel. We've had two little chances and within 30 seconds, we're trying to push forward and we've gifted two bad goals away," Bruce said.
"We've been punished and that's the lesson you take - you get punished for any mistake you make against the big boys and you don't get bigger than them.
"We defended well and we needed to come out and have a go. Second half we came out and I thought: 'now we're in the tie, can we go and grab one'."
Bruce opted to make a number of changes to the side which faced Derby County in the Championship on Friday, with Tom Huddlestone and Shaun Maloney among the unlikely names left on the bench.
However, the former Sunderland boss insists he always intended to field the players who played in the impressive victories over Leicester City and Swansea City earlier in the competition.
"We've beaten Leicester and Swansea with the same players. I said from the outset that the players who need to play will play," he added.
"I know Maloney and Huddlestone are good players but we've come to Manchester City. I'd rather give the players who beat Leicester and Swansea another chance."
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