McAuley hails team-mate Olsson

Baggies defender believes it is 'massive' that Swede has stayed

Jonas Olsson: Vital to West Brom in the eyes of Gareth McAuley

Loading Market ...

Football Betting

Up To £30 Free Matched Bet

Gareth McAuley is delighted that West Brom have retained the services of Jonas Olsson so they can continue their centre-back partnership.

The importance of their understanding was underlined after they played a key role in Saturday's 2-0 win over Everton.

McAuley even found the net as the Baggies made it seven points from a possible nine to start the new Premier League season.

But it was Olsson who was voted man of the match after producing a solid performance to keep out an in-form Everton side.

The Swede was linked with a move away from the Hawthorns for much of the summer after stalling on a new contract, but the transfer window has shut and the 29-year-old is still at the club.

Significant

And McAuley thinks that's hugely significant for Albion.

The Northern Ireland international said: "It is massive that Jonas has stayed at West Brom.

"He had a fantastic season and the way football is, some of the so-called bigger clubs want your players and they can come and take them.

"That is the way it is. But it is fantastic that he is still here.

"Hopefully he can get things sorted and be here for the foreseeable future."

Developed

McAuley added: "We hit it off with the partnership straight away, we developed that last season and we're looking to make it even better again.

"We've managed two clean sheets so far, we got 10 last season and that is the minimum we expect of ourselves this year."

Baggies boss Steve Clarke said: "I think keeping Jonas is a statement from the club in that they have key players but they don't have to cash in on them.

"Financially the club is in a good position. I think it's important you understand the way this club is run.

"The people at the top, they know what they are doing."