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Apr 8, 2013

Olsson wants Baggies to push on

Jonas Olsson is committed to helping West Bromwich Albion try to progress again next season and make the leap into genuine challengers for the Europa League.

The Swedish defender has been an integral part of Steve Clarke's bid for a top six finish this season, but feels Albion's challenge to break into the next level of the Premier League will end up short after falling away in recent weeks.

West Brom chairman Jeremy Peace has already been encouraged by head coach Clarke to make significant signings in the summer, especially with Romelu Lukaku returning to Chelsea after a season-long loan.

Albion have traditionally been frugal operators in the transfer market, with Peace running a tight ship, but Olsson feels the club are close to being able to make the next step and wants to be part of the plans, despite admitting he has ambitions to play for a London club before he retires.

Olsson has been linked with Queens Park Rangers, Arsenal and Spurs in the last 12 months, but recently signed a four-year contract at the Hawthorns and despite failing to earn European football for next season, he is relishing the challenge of making further progress next season.

When asked if he will be at the club next season, Olsson said: "I think so, yes. I made it quite clear in October that I feel for the club and I'm happy here. I've got another three years on my contract so that is definitely the plan.

"I think it is always important where you are in your career. It's always important to have dreams you want to achieve and I said in the past at some point in my career I would like to play for a London club.

"I'm only 30, that's not a big age for a centre-half. I hopefully have a lot of years ahead and I have no rush, I'm enjoying it here, I'm enjoying where the team is going and I enjoy working under this management team.

"I would not have signed in October if I did not think the club could match my ambitions. I think that's a statement when you sign a four-year contract. A player not happy with his situation or where the team is going, would not have signed a four-year deal."

Olsson feels it is imperative for the club to finish the season strongly and achieve as high a position in the league as possible to help Clarke attract top additions to the squad in the summer.

"It's important to see the club going in the right direction and progressing every year. We've done so for the last three or four years. It is easier to attract players and attract a good management team," he said.

"We have a great management team now and, of course, they want to come to a club with ambitions.

"We have to keep with the model we have been doing, strengthening the team every season, keeping the players we have. That is the key element that has made us come this far, that we have kept the squad intact.

"Anyone who knows this league knows it is very difficult to compete with the teams that are top seven at the moment, Liverpool, Everton, Spurs, Chelsea, Arsenal, the Manchester clubs.

"Their financial resources, it is very difficult to compete with that but we showed this season, and we have a season where most things go our way, we can compete with them.

"Of course, it helps having some money to spend. But, like I said we have a good model which has worked fine the last four years so

"I think we need to stick to that and it's up to the board to see what they can do to push the club even further, whether that be spending more money, I don't know. It's for them to decide."

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