Club News

Olsson keen to make amends

Defender hoping to put Euro 2012 exit behind him against England

JONAS Olsson will be seeking 'revenge' for Sweden’s defeat by England at Euro 2012 in tonight’s international friendly at the Friends Arena in Solna, near Stockholm (ko 7.30pm GMT).

The 29-year-old defender, who is hoping to earn his 16th international cap under head coach Erik Hamren, will be looking to erase memories of his country's exit from the competition.

Fellow central-defender Olof Mellberg grabbed a brace to give Sweden the lead following Andy Carroll’s opener but goals from Theo Walcott and Danny Welbeck left the Scandinavians unable to advance from Group D. 

And Olsson, a Barclays Premier League ever-present for the Baggies, insists this summer’s loss to England in Kiev was the most painful of his career. 

“I’m looking forward to getting some revenge from the Euros,” he admitted.

“That was a tough, tough game and I don’t think I’ve ever been as disappointed as that following any other defeat. 

“It was disappointing for all sorts of reasons.

“We went out of the Euros and it hurt to lose to England - especially when you have your life here.

“Of course, we want to beat you guys.

“It’s never a friendly against England and I think it is probably Sweden’s biggest game other than when we play Denmark.

“England is always a big game because English football is so big in Sweden.

“It’s always special to play England and, for me, it is special for other reasons as well, like playing the country in which I live and also of course coming up against Roy Hodgson.”

Hodgson claims an unbeaten record as manager of the national team - barring the penalty shootout defeat to Italy in the Euro 2012 quarter-finals.  

And Olsson, who played a prominent role in the former Albion gaffer’s 15-month stay at The Hawthorns, is not shocked by England’s recent form.  

“Roy’s one of the top, top managers I’ve had the privilege to work with so I’m not surprised at all that he’s unbeaten," he added.

“I always think a manager can be great tactically, or in other aspects of the game, but if you don’t connect with the person, you won’t go 110 per cent for him.

“Roy makes you go that extra percentage.

“I think he has so much experience from coaching national teams, coaching in England, coaching abroad, coaching in Sweden and coaching all over the world, so you know when he says something it’s based on experience.

“It’s from something he has thought about and developed during his 40 years of coaching experience.”