Dave Whelan demands Wigan improvement

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The Independent Football

Wigan owner Dave Whelan has called on the team to raise their game on Saturday when they face Blackburn at Ewood Park.

Whelan spoke to team following their defeat at Fulham, a performance manager Roberto Martinez described as "flat".

Whelan was absent for that match. Instead he travelled to Blackburn - who lost 2-1 to Chelsea - as a mark of respect to former team-mate Ronnie Clayton, who died last week.

He said: "Blackburn played very well and Ron would have been proud of them because they fought hard and should have won.

"I have been talking to our lads and said 'you didn't fight at Fulham but you are going to have to fight at Blackburn'.

"We are in for a tough match. Our lads will have to be up for it."

Wigan are struggling towards the foot of the Barclays Premier League table but Whelan is adamant they are up for the scrap.

He said: "When we came up everyone said we would go down in the first year. This is now our sixth season in the Premier League and it is tough again.

"Wigan are one of a number of clubs whose primary objective is survival. We will fight and hopefully continue our run in the league."

Tributes are planned at the match for both Clayton and former Wigan manager John Benson, who also died at the weekend.

Whelan added: It will be a sad day but at least we can pay our respects to both men."