Zambia coach Herve Renard claims his team are the underdogs ahead of the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations.
The Chipoloplo stunned the more fancied Ivory Coast to win their first ever African title in Gabon and Equitorial Guinea early this year.
But the defending champions will face a stern test to progress from a tough-looking group when they begin their defence in South Africa in January.
A resurgent Nigeria, who failed to reach the finals earlier this year, will pose the most significant threat in group C alongside Burkina Faso and Ethiopia.
There are many Zambian fans who believe they have enough depth in quality to retain their crown.
But the enigmatic Frenchman who was crowned the Best coach on the continent on Thursday is refusing to get carried with their feat earlier this year and insists the champions go into the tournament as the underdogs.
“We know we’re not the favourite. We are outsiders but will do our best to win the title again,” he said
” But in football everything is possible. Our motivation is high ahead of the tournament.
“Despite our achievement this year, wer remain the underdogs. But we are also confident of winning the cup as well.
“In football, you have to respect your opponent. We’ll do our best to see how it goes.”
Zambia struggled to beat Uganda on penalties to secure qualification two months ago.