A confident Sam Byram insisted he was not worried about relegation from the Championship as he and Leeds United readied themselves for today’s crucial game against Wigan Athletic.
Byram backed Leeds to climb the table during the second half of the season and overcome the inconsistency which left the club in 18th place on Christmas Day.
Leeds have a five-point cushion over the division’s bottom three and can pull further away from the relegation places by beating Wigan at Elland Road this afternoon.
Wigan are one of the clubs trapped near the foot of the Championship and last season’s play-off semi-finalists are staring relegation in the face after eight matches without a win.
Byram described the Boxing Day fixture as a “vital game” but the 20-year-old right-back said he had no fear of Leeds getting dragged into a frantic fight for Championship survival.
This afternoon’s match marks the halfway stage of the season. Leeds have 24 points after fighting out a 1-1 draw at Nottingham Forest last weekend.
“Obviously the lads know about the position in the league,” Byram said. “But I don’t think any of us are worried about being relegated or being down in a relegation battle.
“We’ve got enough quality and experience in our squad to put a run of games together and get ourselves up the table.
“We’d like to be in a better position but the boys aren’t worried. We’re confident in our ability to win matches and pick points up.”
Leeds have struggled badly away from home since August but the took a precious point from Forest on Saturday, claiming a draw at the City Ground through a Billy Sharp penalty.
“It was a good away point and performance against a team who are doing well,” Byram said.
“They’ve got a lot of good players and it’s a tough place to go. A lot of the boys were happy with a point.
“We’ve been doing well at home but we know we need to improve our away form and it’s a step in the right direction. We need to go into Wigan and take three points now. It’s a vital game.
“For the last few years we’ve been away from home on Boxing Day so it’s nice to be at Elland Road.
“As a team we’re performing better at home so you can only see that as a positive.”