Nigeria midfielder Alex Iwobi says Super Eagles fans "deserved more" following their exit from the Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon.
The West Africans were expected to challenge for the title after being the only side to win all their group games.
But Nigeria were beaten 1-0 by Tunisia in the last 16, and Everton man Iwobi was sent off soon after coming on as a second-half substitute.
"Moments of joy can quickly turn into pain and anguish. As much as it's a part of football, we came for more," the 25-year-old said in a statement posted on Twitter.
"Our fans who shared these moments with us both in Cameroon and across the world deserved more!"
Alex Iwobi (front row, second from left) started Nigeria's final Nations Cup group match against Guinea-Bissau and came off the bench in their other three games
Iwobi received online abuse following his dismissal in Sunday's game, and subsequently deactivated his Instagram account.
However, he has thanked those who supported him and his Nigeria team-mates. The Super Eagles are back in action in March against Ghana in a two-legged play-off for a place at the 2022 World Cup.
"The beauty of the game is the next moment of jubilation is never too far round the corner," Iwobi added.
"We will be back to fight for our nation, stronger. We owe it to you, and I owe it to myself.
"Thank you for all the words of support and encouragement - it doesn't go unnoticed."