Sam Morsy has admitted Wigan Athletic could have challenged for a Championship play-off spot but for dropping too many points this season.
The DW Stadium outfit gained promotion to the Championship last season as League One champions.
They have managed to retain their place in the English second-tier after collecting 49 points from 45 matches to be placed 18th on the table, with only one game remaining.
Although the midfielder is consoled by his side avoiding relegation, he wants them to learn from their shortcomings that prevented them from achieving their target of gaining promotion to the Premier League.
“Yes we’ve thrown away a lot of points this year, and we should be even higher in the table,” Morsy told Wigan Today.
“But at the same time some of the biggest clubs in the land have been unable to get out of this division for a number of years.
“Fair play to the lads, the staff, the fans, everyone for sticking together. We all believed we could hold our own at this level, even when we got ourselves into a bit of trouble.
“Hand on heart, I honestly didn’t ever have any doubts we wouldn’t get ourselves safe. There was maybe one time, about a month ago, I found myself watching the scores from elsewhere come in, and I found myself cheering a goal against Rotherham. I thought to myself: ‘I can’t believe this is happening.
“It took us until the games against Norwich and Leeds to prove how good a side we are. And credit to the gaffer for keeping us so positive, and believing we were good enough to take on teams like that.
“What we have to do now is learn from the mistakes we’ve made this year and come back stronger.”
Morsy has made 40 appearances for Wigan this season, scoring once and assisting with another goal.
The Pharaohs, host of the tournament are in Group A alongside DR Congo, Uganda and Zimbabwe.