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Wigan Athletic can’t rely on luck in Championship relegation battle – Balogun

The Latics have settled for back-to-back draws in their last two games and they are languishing in the drop zone

Leon Balogun has urged Wigan Athletic to be battle ready and focus on their performances as they fight to maintain their Championship status.

Paul Cook’s men are yet to win a game since their 1-0 victory over Leeds United on February 1 and their last three games ended in two draws and a defeat.

Despite suffering just a defeat in their previous five matches, Wigan are 22nd in the second division with 31 points after 33 games and a win against Millwall on Saturday would boost their survival chances.

Balogun who joined the DW Stadium outfit on loan from Brighton and Hove Albion in January, applauded the team’s effort and wants them to keep fighting.

“I’ve been in this situation before in my career and one thing you cannot do is hope that everything else will go your way. You can’t rely on luck, the officials’ decisions, other score lines or circumstances, it’s us as a club, the players, the staff and the fans,” he said, via the club website.

“We have to be ready; we have to be ready to battle against any adversity and focus on ourselves, that way we’ll have great chances to get the job done.

“We’ve lost one of our last five games and that’s a positive. We’ve got two wins, two draws and one loss, it’s not a bad statistic. If we keep doing our thing and focusing, then we’re on the right path.

“I’ve only been here for two weeks or so now, but I don’t see any signs of this team stagnating or lack of effort. There’s a great spirit here and I think that’s what those pictures and scenes after the match portray.”

The Nigeria international made his full debut for Wigan last Saturday in their 2-2 draw at Cardiff City.

After the game, manager Cook hailed Balogun’s excellent performance in the defence and the 31-year-old has revealed more about his calm character while on duty.

“It’s a nice compliment to receive and I have been told I’m a calm player over time. It’s something the manager said he saw in me and wanted to bring to the group,” Balogun added.

“I’m a positive and happy person, but I like to remain calm.

“I haven’t been playing regularly and my last 90 minutes came in November for the Under 23s, so to be able to complete 90 minutes and give my all for the team in a big game is a positive for me.

“I am a big critic of my own game, I know there is room for improvement from my performance on Saturday, but it’s been an amazing feeling to fight for something and be included. I feel part of this group and I’m here to do exactly that, play my part.

“The lads have been very welcoming and I feel like I’m at home already, even though it’s only been two weeks.

“I’m still getting to know everyone on a personal level, but I already know Jan Mlakar who arrived here with me and he is super mature for his age. He’s only 21, but he’s very calm and relaxed.

“Everyone is unique here, nobody is the same and that’s a good thing because you have to combine all of those different characters to make the right mix.”

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