Super Eagles striker Odion Jude Ighalo has said that he feels bad about Nigeria’s absence from next year’s Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon, and believes that Nigerians will feel the full effect when the competition kicks off proper in January.
Nigeria failed to qualify for the 2017 AFCON, that is to commence January 14 and end February 5, finishing second behind Egypt in a group that also consisted of Chad and Tanzania.
Ighalo, who has failed to replicate his form of last season at Watford in the Premier League scoring just once in 15 caps, revealed how sad he feels about not participating in the competition the Super Eagles have won thrice.
“I felt bad – not just me but Nigerians as a whole are not happy,” Ighalo told BBC Sport.
“Seeing teams playing in the Nations Cup and you see yourself at home you know you’re not going to the Nations Cup that’s when I am going to feel bad.”
He however stated that the 2013 African champions will have to put the current disappointment behind them and focus on the next edition of AFCON which comes up in Cameroon in 2019.
“You know you don’t have to dwell on that, we don’t have to kill ourselves about that,” Ighalo added.
“We have to work towards the next one and keep pushing. Hopefully we will qualify.”