Super Eagles Head Coach Stephen Keshi has said that the ouster of record champions Egypt from next year's Africa Cup of Nations campaign is a warning to the big teams.
Seven-time champions Egypt will not feature at next year's Africa Cup of Nations for the second consecutive tournament after they were eliminated by less fancied Central Africa Republic 4-3 on aggregate.
"The so-called small teams are catching up in Africa. Central Africa has been planning to qualify, same as Namibia, who have been doing so for the past four years. This is a big lesson for us," Keshi said in an interview.
"We don't appreciate what we have, what our players are doing. We don't appreciate our results, rather we want to beat a team 4-0, 5-0, but it's tough achieving such these days.
"We should believe in our team, support our players, understand that sometimes we will play badly and win because result is the key.
"I'm sure Egypt Coach Bob Bradley would now want to swap playing well with qualification to the Nations Cup. We will have no choice than to play against them if we are now drawn against them in the Nations Cup. We can't say that wait a minute we just finished playing them (in the World Cup qualifiers). So be it," said Keshi, whose team was forced to a 1-1 draw by Malawi in Blantyre early last month.
He added: "We are ready for any team because we can't decide who we will play against. We just have to start planning again because that is essential to our success.
Keshi has been on the Eagles job for nine months and after going unbeaten in his first three competitive games last month, he revealed to MTNFootball.com that he will score himself above average thus far.
"I would score myself six out of 10, a little above average. We are making progress, but I will only be satisfied when we really start playing as a team because right now we are playing mostly individually," he remarked.