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Olsson urged to remain with Baggies

02 Sep 2012 07:47:36

Olsson urged to remain with Baggies

West Brom boss Steve Clarke hopes his side's flying start to the season will persuade central defender Jonas Olsson to sign a new contract.

Albion overcame Everton 2-0 at the Hawthorns thanks to goals from Shane Long and Gareth McAuley as they took their points tally to seven from the opening three games. But it was Olsson, who is in the final year of his contract, who was voted the official man of the match.

The Sweden international is guaranteed to remain at the Hawthorns until at least January with the closure of the transfer window but Clarke hopes he will remain on a long-term basis. "It was very important Jonas stayed. Anyone who has followed West Brom over the years, knows Jonas is an integral part of team. He's crucial," he said.

"I think keeping him is a statement from the club in that they have key players - but they don't have to cash in on them. It might be a risk but maybe if we keep winning matches it will make his decision easier to sign a new contract."

Clarke was delighted with Albion's second-half performance and their flying start to his first managerial job. "It was a good afternoon for us, It was a good game for us. Everton came here in a good moment but we arrived also in a good moment," he said.

"I thought the first half was a bit too cagey, too good teams feeling each other out. But in the second half, when the game opened out a wee bit, I thought we were good value for the win. It's been a good start. When you looked at the games we had (Liverpool, Tottenham, Everton) you thought it would be difficult.

"But seven points from nine is a good start and gives us something build on."

Everton surrendered their 11-game unbeaten league record stretching back to March and manager David Moyes admitted he may have been too gung-ho in his approach to try and snatch victory.

"I thought for probably the first hour we had good control but we didn't do well enough in the final third today and that was the reason we didn't win," he said.

"I've got to say West Brom defended very well. I made a change (Kevin Mirallas for Steven Naismith) to try and go for it because I thought we weren't doing enough to score and in opening up we conceded a goal from it."


PA

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