Nigeria coach Gernot Rohr refused to get carried away and instead downplayed his team’s chances of winning a fourth title at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon), which kicks off in Egypt on Friday.
Nigeria’s Super Eagles open their campaign in Group B against Burundi on 22 June.
The other two teams in the group are Guinea and Madagascar, but Rohr has singled out debutants Burundi as Nigeria’s toughest opponents.
Nigeria’s final warm-up match, ahead of the start of Afcon, was a 1-0 defeat to Senegal on Sunday, but Rohr’s not reading too much into the result.
More importantly, he is keen to manage expectations with regard to Nigeria’s campaign at Egypt 2019.
“Our aim at this moment is to stay humble and not get too excited,” the Nigeria coach said afterward.
“To say we have to win the Afcon is not my philosophy because we are a very young team.
“Already the president said we must win it, but this is not the ideology.
“We are only making a return after a period of absence, so we have to play with happiness and enthusiasm in Egypt.
“Our young team will do their best. We have a chance to reach the last four, which for me is already a good result.”
The Super Eagles, who were champions in 2013, have rebuilt their squad and arrived in Egypt with 20 players making their debut at the tournament.
The experience will be provided by captain John Mikel Obi as well as Ahmed Musa and Kenneth Omeruo, who were in the championship class of 2013.
In partnership with ANA and Mediapix