Olsson: Cool Clarke will revive Baggies
Jonas Olsson believes the calmness of head coach Steve Clarke and his staff will bring West Bromwich Albion out of their unproductive start to the season.
The Sweden defender is convinced a measured approach in the dressing room is more likely to spark a turnaround in results than a volatile one.
“I’ve had a few managers here now and this gaffer is someone I really enjoy working with,” he said. “From day one, I’ve liked his methods, his attitude towards the club. He sees us as a good team with good players. That gives you confidence as a player.
“He was one of the reasons I stayed at the club and signed a new deal. When you feel you have a gaffer who thinks you’re a good team, knowing he’s worked at Liverpool and Chelsea, then you start to believe it yourself.
“He thinks before he speaks and he doesn’t often get angry. Sometimes he can - but he’s measured. So when he speaks, you know he has given some thought to what he says. It makes you listen more closely.”
Albion’s cosmopolitan squad will reassemble in the West Midlands on Wednesday and Thursday after the completion of Tuesday’s second round of international fixtures, with Saturday’s trip to Fulham on their minds.
The Londoners haven’t been in the best of form either but have a good record against the Baggies at Craven Cottage. And Olsson insists that margins are slight outside of the Premier League’s elite, with Albion’s first three league matches in 2013-14 bringing a total of only three goals -- none of them scored by themselves.
“We need a realism,” he continues in a piece in the Birmingham Mail. This is a tough league and I think apart from four or five teams at the top, there are 14 or15 teams that are very similar.
“Top eight, top nine or top ten is a good season for us. A bad one can mean you struggle and you’re fighting to stay up. Looking at our last three seasons, we’ve made progress every year, we want to do the same thing. But that ambition has to also be built on realism too.”