By Trevor Kramer in PE
Niger coach Gernot Rohr was in high spirits ahead of his side's second Africa Cup of Nations clash against the Democratic Republic of Congo on Thursday.
Menas were narrowly beaten 1-0 by Mali in their opening clash, Seydou Keita netting an 84th minute winner at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Sunday.
But after some words of support from the nation's President, Mahamadou Issoufou, Rohr admitted his side were under no pressure to perform.
Outlining his side's ambitions at a press conference in Port Elizabeth on Wednesday, the German mentor admitted they just want to do improve on their last showing where they lost all three game in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea in 2012.
He said: "He (Issoufou) told us it is not an obsession to a make a victory now - already a draw could be good performance for the Niger team. The players are not stressed now to play tomorrow. For us it is important to give a good image, and not just focus on the results.
"Our objective is easy - to do better than last time. The last time Niger lost three games in Gabon so this time we want to do better."
He admitted that they head into Thursday's games as underdogs, as per usual, but is quietly confident of securing a positive result.
"There is very good atmosphere in the team, even when we lost the first game, but hopefully we can make a good game tomorrow.
"We've seen the game, (DR) Congo and Ghana, which was for me one of best game of the tournament. We know they are technically better than us but we did a good game against Mali and I think we can do the same against the Democratic Republic of Congo.
"They are favourites, we are outsiders, it is all the same, in the three games it's the same situation for us."
Niger captain Moussa Maazou, meanwhile, reiterated his coach's comments by insisting just being at the tournament was success for the Nigerien nation.
"People in Niger are very happy that we are here for the second time in our history, for the second time in a row. They enjoyed the first game, even the president told the people the players made a good fight.
"So we don't have any pressure here to progress, but to enjoy to be here with fun, and we will do all, of course, to have a result in our next game."
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