And stand-in skipper urges team-mates to remain 'humble' after impressive results against big guns
JONAS Olsson believes Albion’s new-look squad has what it takes to push towards the Barclays Premier League top six – but has called it their toughest test yet.
The Baggies finished eighth last term on the back of tenth and 11th-placed finishes in the two previous seasons.
And, after putting reigning champions Manchester United to the sword and taking league leaders Arsenal to the limit in their last two games, he has urged his team-mates to remain 'humble' – but push for more.
“I think we have shown over the last few seasons that when things are going well for us we’re a really strong side and a really tough team to beat,” said the Baggies' stand-in skipper.
“We have great momentum now and a strong squad. Just look at the bench on Saturday with Brunt, Morrison, Rosenberg and Long.
“I think that is maybe the difference between West Brom this year and a few years ago – the depth we have in our squad.
“I think we’re in a good place and hopefully we carry on.
“We have finished 11th, tenth then eighth and moving from tenth to eighth is a lot easier than moving from eighth to sixth – that is a reality.
“Of course the ambition is always to progress and finish higher than last season, but it’s important to be humble about the league.
“There are some really good teams and with a team like us, if we have a really good season we can be up there, and if we have a season when things aren’t going right and we have injuries it can go the other way.
“We need to approach our ambition with a healthy respect.”
After a shaky start to the campaign, with just two points from the opening four games, the Baggies are now sitting in 12th thanks to seven points from the last nine available.
And Olsson feels the team deserve more credit after their impressive displays against the big guns of the division.
He added: “When we play good teams and get good results the focus is always on them being poor but we have now shown two games in a row that we are a strong side and the focus has to be on us playing good football at the moment.
“I think it was mostly people outside of West Brom who were getting really concerned.
“We know what kind of team we are and we have had three really good Premier League seasons before this one.
“Sometimes you struggle a little bit and sometimes you have good momentum, which we have now.
“I wasn’t overly concerned with the first few games.
“The big let down was the opening game against Southampton, but look where they are now.
“They are doing really well so maybe we look back at that and say we lost against a good side.
“Apart from that game we've had some good games.
“There is always some pressure until you get the first win and get going but we did that against Sunderland and since then we have been comfortable.”