Football - Olsson eyes McAuley stay

Jonas Olsson believes it is "vital" West Brom keep hold of central defensive partner Gareth McAuley.

PA Sport

Baggies head coach Steve Clarke confirmed before the weekend that Albion have opened talks over a new contract with McAuley who has 15 months to run of his current deal.

Olsson admits his partnership with McAuley was a key factor in him signing a new contract earlier this season.

The Swedish international said: "It is vital to keep Gareth. We have formed a good partnership over the past couple of seasons.

"When I signed my new contract, one of the big reasons was that I enjoy playing alongside him so much.

"For me it is vital that we keep him."

Olsson pinpoints Albion's ability to retain the services of key players as a major factor in establishing themselves in the Barclays Premier League. He said: "Continuity has been important at Albion, keeping players.

"People like James Morrison, Graham Dorrans, Chris Brunt, Steven Reid and Youssouf Mulumbu have been here for a while now.

"That experience, and being able to keep those good players, have been a key factor.

"Albion haven't lost too many players they didn't want to lose."

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