And Olsson reveals deadline for Ibrahimovic's boots
JONAS Olsson believes Albion can extend their impressive run of form at Sunderland on Saturday (ko 12.45pm) – but insists his team-mates will need to maintain their high standards in order to beat the Black Cats.
The Baggies travel to the Stadium of Light in search of their fourth successive Barclays Premier League victory – a feat they have not achieved in the top flight since 1980.
And the 29-year-old centre-half claims Steve Clarke’s men are well aware of the challenge awaiting them in Saturday’s televised fixture.
“I think going to the Stadium of Light is always a difficult task, and I think, as long as we know that as a group of players, I’m not bothered about the sorts of pressure that people outside the club are putting on us,” said Olsson.
“We need to realise that we are a good team and we’re not going to apologise for where we are in the league.
“We deserve every point that we have earned so far and though we’re going to Sunderland and we want to win, we also know how hard it is.
“We know what we need to do and hopefully if we put in a performance like we have been doing then we have a chance of getting a result.
“We need to keep hold of the things we do well, like our shape, and then build from there.
“We need to be humble about the task and we’re a team that needs everyone to be performing well in order to get a win.”
Olsson played a prominent role in Sweden’s 4-2 triumph over England at the opening of the Friends Arena in Stockholm eight days ago.
And the towering defender is now auctioning the boots worn by Zlatan Ibrahimovic (pictured above), the scorer of all four of Sweden’s goals, in aid of the Winnicott Foundation, which offers medical and emotional support to premature babies and their families.
Jonas and his partner Frida’s daughter Annabelle Iris, who was born seven weeks earlier than expected in June, benefited from the charity’s support during the first weeks of her life.
Olsson has now raised thousands of pounds for the charity he holds close to his heart.
“I’ve raised a fair bit of money selling my own boots in the past but I thought this time it would be nice if it was special and I asked Zlatan before the England game whether he would give me his boots
after the game and he said, ‘yes, no problem,’ so it turned out to be a good game to ask for them.
“The auction finishes tomorrow (Thursday) night and everyone who donates at least £5 will go into a pool, with one lucky person winning those famous boots.
“Unfortunately, I haven’t had chance to wear them as they are too big for me and I’m a size 12 – they are really big!”
To make a donation to the Winnicott Foundation and subsequently enter the prize draw for Ibrahimovic’s boots, click here.
Donations must be made before 9pm on Thursday, November 22 in order to qualify for the prize draw.