Ex-Nigerian internationals, Mutiu Adepoju and Victor Ikpeba, have played down the Super Eagles defeat to Senegal in their final friendly game before the African Nations Cup.
The Super Eagles lost 1-0 to the Teranga Lions courtesy of an Idrissa Gueye strike in the 20th minute in a closed-door friendly in Ismailia, Egypt, on Sunday.
This is a defeat that has set panic in some Nigerian fans who are now doubting if Gernot Rohr's men are ready for the tournament which kicks off this weekend.
But former Eagles players, Mutiu and Ikpeba, have reassured fans that despite the recent dip in form (which includes a 0-0 draw against Zimbabwe) all will be well when the team plays their first game.
“It will be unfair if we judge the team by the outcome of this encounter because this is a process of preparation and the players are trying to be careful not to get injured,” Mutiu Adepoju told ‘Goal’.
“Senegal is a very strong team and I’m very sure that the game would have opened the eyes of the technical crew on where the Super Eagles need improvement.
“Another good thing is that we now know how the Senegalese play because it’s likely we face them during the course of the tournament.”
Former African Footballer of the year, Victor Ikpeba, shared the same sentiment as his ex-teammate.
“The result doesn’t matter. It is an opportunity for the manager to see everybody play and access his team.
“Remember this is a build-up to the Nations Cup and sometimes we will not like to get injured. In this kind of game, it is very difficult to see the players give their 200%."
The Super Eagles kick off their AFCON campaign against Burundi on June 22 at the Alexandria Stadium, before facing Guinea and Madagascar in other Group B clashes.