Chris Wilder insisted there were many positives to take from Tuesday's Carabao Cup tie, despite exiting the competition on penalties.
Oliver Norwood impressed, completing 90 minutes on debut, as did Liverpool loanee Ben Woodburn.
And their efforts were noted by the manager, who remarked: "Ben played as a ten because they played three centre-halves, something they've not done throughout pre-season, but teams are matching us up now and I understand why.
"It was disappointing to lose Duffy at half-time, but he had a bit of concussion, so we'll get him checked out because he wasn't right.
"It's Ben's first loan, he played a part in Saturday's win and he grew into this tie. Like you could see straight away with Norwood's experience and quality, you could see glimpses of what Ben could do and he'll be a big player us this season."
Wilder added: "We don't like losing games, regardless of how, but like with everything there is ways and means. Hull took one more better penalty than us and we find ourselves out of the competition.
"We move on though, the substitutes were excellent, John Egan was solid again and Kieron Freeman got another 90 minutes under his belt.
"My only criticism sometimes is we need to put the ball in the box quicker but that will come and I'm sure the goals will too, overall the performance was good."