Club News

Olsson confident over fitness

Vice-captain targets Albion response at City

JONAS Olsson is optimistic about his chances of being fit to face Manchester City on Easter Monday (ko 8pm).

The centre-back was forced off in the 77th minute of last Saturday’s 3-3 draw at home to Tottenham struggling with an Achilles injury.

But Olsson is confident he will have recovered in time for the trip to the Etihad Stadium as Albion look to halt the charge of a City side challenging for the Barclays Premier League title.

“I don’t feel too bad. I've been in since Saturday monitoring my injury. I feel alright,” he said. 

“I struggled last week, and during the second half of the game. After half-time I realised I needed to be honest to myself, be honest to the team. When I'm not 100 per cent there are players on the bench who will do a better job for the team than I can when I'm at 90 or 80 per cent.  

“It was an easy decision to come off. I didn't want to - if you look at my career here it's probably something I've done three or four times in six years. But I struggled in the last 30 minutes so it was the right choice.”

He added: “There are some times you can play through pain but you need to be honest. There are still five games to go.

“You don't want to make it worse by playing ten minutes more. Had I stayed on it might be worse and I might have missed a few games. 

“Hopefully now I can be back in for selection against Manchester City. I think I'll be fit for that game.”

Olsson is sensible and fully aware of how to manage the injury having experienced similar complaints previously during his time at The Hawthorns.

The Sweden international says it is simply affected by hard pitches at the end of a long season.

And he insists there is no real need for him to manage next term any differently.

“I haven't had any problems this season, I've played about 30 games. Last year, even if I struggled for the last few, I played 35 or 36 games,” he said.  

“My training load has been adapted this year but this is normal after a long season. 

“What I learned from last season is that I carried on when I probably shouldn't have. That's about being honest to yourself, team-mates and club. 

“That came into my mind on Saturday.”

Olsson was extremely unfortunate to concede an own goal for Spurs’ first last weekend, with the ball ricocheting off his outstretched leg and looping over the helpless Ben Foster.

It was the second successive home game in which the Baggies have surrendered a winning position to finish up with a point come full-time.

Yet Olsson is adamant confidence remains high having won two and drawn two of the last five, and he points to Albion’s response at Norwich following the setback against Cardiff as reason for optimism heading to Manchester City on Monday.

“Morale is good, we’re on the up still. We've been playing very well over the last four or five games,” the 31-year-old said. 

“The Spurs game, conceding late, was tough - it always is. But if you watched the whole game it was a pretty fair result. 

“Losing two points again at the end, that’s tough. After Cardiff we felt really down, but you saw the response against Norwich. 

“Hopefully we can do that on Monday.”