Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang said on Monday that Gabon were the stronger side in their African Nations Cup group but blamed a late change of coach and poor preparation – as well as his own profligacy -- as the hosts crashed out of the competition before the knock-out stages.
"We had everything to qualify, we had chances. Unfortunately, there are days where it does not work out, like my first opportunity two metres from the goal," Aubameyang said of a golden early opportunity in Sunday's final Group A game against Cameroon.
Gabon first host nation in 23 years to go out in group stage
It ended goalless to add to two other draws for the hosts, who were the first home side eliminated in the first round of the Nations Cup for 23 years.
"We struck the post, the goalkeeper made an array of saves. I think we've been stronger than the other teams in the group," Aubameyang said. "But the preparation, the change of coach, it was not easy, we started late," lamented the Borussia Dortmund player.
Gabon fired Jorge Costa, the former Portuguese international, 70 days before the tournament started and appointed former Spain manager José Antonio Camacho to replace him only one month to go.
"It's all very disappointing"
"It's all very disappointing because I think we were growing in power. The last two games, we were not bad, each player gave everything. It's frustrating when you make the efforts but the conditions are not there to make a great tournament," Aubameyang added.
Aubameyang, who scored in the opening two games, admitted that his own contribution could have been better.
"I know there was a lot of expectation around me," he said. "I'm not entirely satisfied with my performances, I think I could have brought a little more. Sure I scored two goals but I wasn't at 100 percent."