GRAHAM POTTER says defender Leon Balogun remains an ‘important’ member of his squad as he battles back to fitness.

The centre-half played in Albion’s Carabao Cup win at Bristol Rovers last month but hopes of more action tonight have been dashed after he came back from international duty with Nigeria complaining of tightness in the groin area.

Potter concedes it is a frustrating period for Balogun, who faces a battle to win a place in the Premier League matchday squads with Lewis Dunk, Dan Burn, Adam Webster and Shane Duffy, who has been on the bench twice, all regulars.

Potter said: “He is probably having a bit of a bad time at the moment because he’s not healthy, and that’s the most important thing.

“You cannot do anything about things if you’re not on the pitch so we have to just focus on getting him back training as soon as we can and also as safely as we can.

“Then football decides who is out on the pitch.

“Hopefully, we can get him back to enjoying football and get him back to playing football, then he’s an important guy in our squad.”