By James Agberebi:
Former Super Eagles assistant coach, Joe Erico has rated Nigerian football in 2016 above average, Completesportsnigeria.com reports.
The year 2016 has been one of mixed fortunes for Nigerian football.
The Super Eagles failed to qualify for the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon, but are top of their 2018 FIFA World Cup group.
Both the Flying Eagles and Golden Eaglets will not be at the 2017 CAF U-20 and U-17 Africa Cup of Nations.
The U-23 Eagles won bronze in the football event of the Rio 2016 Olympics, Team Nigeria's only medal at the Games.
For the women, the Super Falcons were crowned African champions but the Falconets and Flamingoes crashed out in the group stage of their respective World Cup outing.
Assessing the national teams' performances in the outgoing year, Erico said Nigerian football can do better.
"I will rate Nigerian football above average, at least for striving to put in more efforts to do well," Erico told Completesportsnigeria.com.
"I think Nigerian football has done well. You can't win all the time, but I will urge the Nigeria Football Federation to improve their relationship with the players because the players are the main actors. Without them, nothing will works.
"We all saw what happened with the Super Falcons. If Cameroon can celebrate their women's team that finished second, why can't we do the same for our team?"
"So like I said, I will score our football above average, but it can be better."