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Nov 4, 2012

Olsson: Sweden seeking England revenge

Jonas Olsson has vowed quick revenge for what he describes as the lowest point of his football career when Sweden face England in an international friendly next week.

Olsson, 29, is relishing the prospect of England's visit to Stockholm a week on Wednesday following the heartbreak of Sweden's European Championships elimination five months ago.

With Olof Mellberg no longer pulling on a yellow shirt, Olsson is likely to be a key part of a side aiming to bring down the country managed by his former West Bromwich Albion boss Roy Hodgson.

"I'm looking forward to getting some revenge for the Euros," he said. "That was a tough game and I don't think I have ever been as disappointed as I was from that game, because we went out of the Euros. Especially when I have my life over here. I want to beat you guys.

"We have what looks like a nice new national stadium and there is no such thing as a friendly when England play Sweden. English football is so big in Sweden that this match is always special. And it's against Roy as well.

"He is one of the top managers I've had the privilege of working with. If you can't connect, you won't give 110 per cent. But he makes you go the extra per cent for him. He improved my game definitely. He really believed in me.

"Roy has always been someone you have heard of in Sweden. He has so much experience and has gone all over the world, including Sweden."

The Swedes have taken seven points from their opening three World Cup qualifiers, including a 4-4 draw with Germany, and Olsson is highly content with life. In the last few months, he has signed a new Albion contract, deputised as captain for the injured Chris Brunt and become a father for the first time.

Daughter Iris Annabelle arrived during the European Championships and necessitated a flying visit by the giant defender back to Sweden in between group games.

"My girlfriend phoned to say the baby was coming four weeks early," Olsson said. "I got back in time."

Olsson has a Monday night Premier League assignment at home to Southampton in the meantime and is also awaiting developments on the search for a replacement at The Hawthorns for Dan Ashworth, who is FA-bound in the coming months.

And he has only compliments for the club's sporting and technical director.

"Hats off to Dan. He has done a great job here and I have only good things to say about him," Olsson said. "He was here when I first came and we see him a lot. He's hands on with the head coach. I have faith in the club finding a good replacement, although it's a big space to fill."

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