Super Eagles and Rangers center back, Leon Balogun, had a lot to say after making his debut for his new club at the weekend. There was the nice, bad and ugly for the Nigerian international on his debut and he admitted he was unhappy with a nasty challenge from Aberdeen defender Scott McKenna.
That challenge left Balogun requiring medical attention on a head knock and he told heraldscotland.com that he did not rise up after being shoved into the goal post at a Matt Kennedy free-kick within the last half.
The 32-year-old only continued after receiving treatment and helped Steven Gerrard’s side to record a narrow 1-0 victory in their opening Premiership match of the 2020/21 season.
“I wanted to urge up, but I couldn’t, he said. “It wasn’t quite lighting out but a touch bit tough for me. I carried on playing and it wasn’t too bad. Maybe I’ll get some dizziness and a headache but I even have tablets for that so it’s okay.
“I think it was McKenna who pushed me into the goal post. Was I unhappy with the challenge? Obviously, because it shouldn’t happen. on the other hand, again I didn’t die so it’s okay. It’s part of the game so I think about it sort of a message ‘welcome to Scottish football’. If that’s what it’s then I just need to get used to it and make sure I don’t get caught out next time.”
Balogun whose major football career had been in Germany before switching to England was deservedly lauded by his fellow Rangers players within the room following the ultimate whistle after helping them keep a clean sheet.
“It was special for me to get a round of applause from my teammates,” he said. “They told me this is a tough place to form your debut so I’m happy.
“I am just happy I was ready to perform in the way I performed. That said, you’re only as good as your last match so i want to rest up before the next game. I want to help the group be successful.
I enjoyed the game tons. I was looking forward to getting started. The last half was maybe not what we wanted but it’s always great to start the season with a win. As a defender, it’s also good to get a clean sheet. We accomplished that so it’s a good start for us.”
Another Nigerian, Joe Aribo, was also in action for Rangers in the season opener.