The 50-year-old tactician made the revelation after the Super Eagles suffered a 2-1 loss against Togo in their opening game at the regional tournament in Thies on Sunday.
Sikiru Alimi’s goal was not enough to inspire Imama Amapakabo’s men to victory over their West African rivals who defeated them 4-1 a week ago, in the first leg of the African Nations Championship (Chan) qualifiers in Lome.
In his reaction to the defeat, Amapakabo, who is also the coach of the U-23 team, backed his selection of players from the Olympic Eagles as the country prepares to participate at the 2019 Africa U-23 Cup of Nations in Egypt later in November.
“Everybody goes into a competition to win but I think our main objective was to set up a team that is going to do very well in the future,” Amapakabo told the media.
“We had an unusual situation in our country and we decided. This is a young team, at least kudos to them. They've been able to show at this level what they have the capacity to do.
“We decided to use the U-23 team that is preparing for the Olympics at this tournament. You will find out that most of them are playing at this level for the very first time."
The former Enugu Rangers manager went on to rue the missed chances by his team in the second 45 minutes after a sloppy first-half performance.
“I think we made some bit of mistakes, we made some technical mistakes in the first-half which cost us two goals and I think in the second half, it was a far better showing we came out and created chances,” he added.
“Like I say all the time, it is my responsibility as a coach for me to make the team play and create chances through tactics and also the responsibility of the players to convert those chances.”