Nigeria skipper Joseph Yobo has taken the pressure off his teammates by saying 'it is not the end of the world' if the Super Eagles fail to return home with the Africa Cup of Nations trophy.
Nigeria kick-off their campaign when they meet Burkina Faso in a West African derby at the Mbombela Stadium this evening.
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With coach Stephen Keshi excluding the likes of Obafemi Martins, Peter Odemwingie and Taye Taiwo, there are few big-name players in the squad.
But both Keshi and Yobo excluded a quiet confidence that Nigeria can still have a good tournament - fresh blood can often work out to be beneficial.
"I do believe in this squad, "said the Super Eagles captain, "we do have a lot of young players, but also a lot of experience, so there is a good blend.
"Most of them are not inexperienced players, they have played qualifying games, and they are ready for it.
"Previous squads I have been in we have had more experience, but this squad has an abundance of talent.
"We did not qualify for the last Nations Cup, but this squad has been able to do it," added the Fenerbahçe and former Everton defender.
He was keen however not to raise expectations unnecessarily or to put his players under pressure to deliver.
"I am confident - we do have a chance, although I would like to take it one game at a time. If we do not win it it's not the end of the world, I just want to make sure we give a good account of ourselves.
"Also for the younger players to get the experience. The opportunity is open, we are here to win it, but as I say, one game at a time.
"To be candid with you this is the best squad I have been in so far. Of course we are human beings and mistakes are made, but the players realise its not all about ourselves, its for the country.
"We also know expectation is high, but I feel we will get better progressively as the tournament goes on," he adds.