Egypt boss Carlos Queiroz urged his players to keep calm and focus on beating Guinea Bissau on Saturday and Sudan next week after their disappointing start to the Africa Cup of Nations.
The Pharaohs went down to a spry Nigeria side in the opening Group D game on Tuesday in Garoua.
Leicester City striker Kelechi Iheanacho swept home the only goal of the game in the first-half at the Stade Roumdé Adija.
But Nigeria dominated their opponents who rarely threatened an equaliser. The Super Eagles will qualify for the last-16 knockout stages with victory over Sudan on Saturday afternoon.
Egypt’s defeat and the lacklustre performance – especially of the star striker Mo Salah – raised questions over whether the seven-time champions deserved their billing as one of the favourites to lift the crown on 6 February.
“The performance in the first half against Nigeria was very poor and this is the truth,” said Queiroz ahead of Saturday night’s game against Guinea Bissau. “We were not on the field.
“We lost the match but there are six points we must get against Guinea Bissau and Sudan.”
Egypt will go into Saturday’s game expected not to repeat their opening day follies and claim the three points to atone for their first group stage defeat at the Cup of Nations since 2004.
And the loss could fire a team that appeared limp and clueless.
“I don’t think we are the first candidate to win this tournament but we will do our best to win it,” said Salah.
“We have a good coach. We have a good team and we have a very good group and so I know we’ll give our best.”
Source: Modern Ghana