And vice skipper says Sunderland postponement was blessing in disguise
JONAS Olsson believes Albion possess enough Barclays Premier know-how to climb away from trouble during the final 11 games.
The central defender, preparing for Saturday’s visit of Manchester United (ko 12.45pm), says the experience Pepe Mel’s side can draw on from the past three top-flight seasons could prove invaluable.
Olsson also reckons the postponement of last weekend’s visit to survival-rivals Sunderland, due to the Black Cats’ Capital One Cup final appearance, has been a blessing in disguise.
Albion’s first task is finding the missing ingredient that can convert a string of stalemates into victories.
The Baggies have drawn an incredible 13 games this term – including four in six under Mel.
In fact, if Albion finish level in four of their remaining games, they will equal the Premier League record of most drawn matches in a season since it became a 20-team competition, which is currently shared by Newcastle and Villa.
“I think the recent performances have been good for the most part,” said the former NEC Nijmegen man.
“But they haven’t been good enough to see us getting three points.
“We need to perform over 90 minutes.
“There are a lot of games where we have played well for one half or for 60 minutes but have switched off a little bit in other spells and got punished.
“In the Premier League, you can’t do that.
“But there are a lot of teams down there with us also having tough seasons. For example, it is only recently that West Ham have started to pick up.
“Experience is going to count for a lot. What we have in this squad is a lot of Premier League experience – and a lot of experience of being in a situation like this.”
Olsson says the extra time Albion have been afforded on the training pitch during the past fortnight has enabled them to focus on the areas they need to improve.
“Training has been good,” he added.
“With the gaffer and the coaching staff, we’ve had time to work on the things we need to do better.
“In that respect, the postponed game with Sunderland came at a good time.
“We know what it takes to do well at this level. There is a lot of spirit in the group and we’re all confident we’re going to dig this season out.”