Zimbabwe and Orlando Pirates forward Tendai Ndoro revealed that his side's lack of 'adequate preparation' was the reason for their poor AFCON showing.
The Warriors arrived in Gabon full of confidence following an inspired run during qualification for the tournament amid reports of financial issues and a failure to pay for accommodation and transport.
Kalisto Pasuwa's charges ultimately endured an embarrassing first-round exit having garnered one point from their 2-2 draw against Algeria, whilst losing their other two encounters against Senegal and Tunisia respectively.
"We were very unfortunate; things didn’t work well for us," Ndoro told News Day.
"But this was a learning curve, and we will bounce back and do well in future tournaments.
"I think we didn’t have adequate preparations and that cost us as a team. We managed to play just one international friendly match, but if you look at other teams like Tunisia and Algeria, they played a number of friendlies.
"I tell you, if this team had been supported, in terms of their preparations, it was going to surprise.
"I was happy to get the opportunity to play my first AFCON finals. I was particularly pleased to score, but obviously, it pains everyone that we didn’t progress.
"The goal I scored has boosted my confidence, as I return to play for my club. The confidence is there and I will go and do what I am supposed to be doing – scoring goals," he concluded.