Club News

Foster hails defensive duo

Keeper says Olsson and McAuley are up there with Prem's best

BEN Foster believes the centre-back partnership of Jonas Olsson and Gareth McAuley is up there with the best in the Barclays Premier League.

The Baggies goalkeeper says the duo have been immense in the opening six top-flight games this season and relishes playing behind them.

All three played a crucial part in earning a 1-1 draw at Villa on Sunday and they have already recorded three clean sheets this term.

Foster said: “They have been that way since the middle of last season - they are absolute warriors.

“You know they are going to block everything, head everything, kick everything.

“They took some serious knocks on Sunday, they had bumps and bruises all over, but they will always be in there fighting for you and it's nice to have two people like that in front of you.

“I don't think there is many better partnerships in the Premier League.

“They play week in and week out, I don't think they've missed a game for a good long time.

“You take all those things into account and I'd much rather be playing with those two than the majority of defensive pairings.”

The former Blues No.1 was back to his best after his costly error in the midweek 2-1 Capital One Cup exit against Liverpool.

And he says everyone in the Baggies camp is more than satisfied to be sitting in sixth place with 11 points from the first half-dozen games.

“It was nice to put Wednesday behind me,” Foster added.

“I don't get too wrapped up in this football thing anyway.

“As soon as you get home, you move on.

“We had to wait an extra day for the game and it was nice to go out there and put in a decent performance and help my team get a point.

“I'm very happy with Sunday.

“There was not a lot I could do with their goal; it was a bit of a scruffy one.

“The lads battled well and put a lot of blocks in.

“We are a bit like the walking wounded at the moment.

“We've got a few injuries, got a few more little knocks but, fair play to them, they battled well.

“It would have been even nicer to have 13 points but everyone at the club is very happy with the start to the season.

“The fact we go to places like Tottenham and Villa and get points and play good football as well is testament to how far we have come.”