The Robins slipped to their first loss of the campaign after a nine-goal thriller at Whaddon Road last weekend.
Townsend, who scored his first goal of the season and conceded an own goal against Bradford, said he was "lost for words" after the side's shock setback but says some valuable lessons have been learned.
He told the Gloucester Citizen: "At the moment I'm hurting as much as anybody over the result, but we have to respond positively.
"It was a massive bolt out of the blue, but we need to have a good look at ourselves in the mirror, dust ourselves down and come back stronger."
He added: "It's a 10-month competition, but we can't have to many days like that at the office. We are looking forward to Darlington now and we will get it right again."