Super Eagles and Watford FC forward, Odion Ighalo has expressed sadness that the Super Eagles will not be at the Africa Cup of Nations to be held in Gabon from 14 January to 5 February.
The Eagles failed to qualify for a second straight AFCON after finishing second behind Egypt in their qualifying group.
Ighalo who has been a shadow of himself this season as compared to his fine form last season for Watford in the English Premier League, says the reality of their failure will really hit home when the tournament kicks off on 14 January.
“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.”
Meanwhile, the Super Eagles are currently top of their 2018 World Cup group with two wins out of two and continue their campaign at home to Cameroon in August 2017.