Olsson opposed sacking of Di Matteo

  • Last Updated: November 16 2012, 13:14 GMT

West Brom defender Jonas Olsson admits he was not in favour of the sacking of Roberto Di Matteo as manager ahead of Saturday's meeting with his current club Chelsea.

Jonas Olsson: Rates Di Matteo very highly

Jonas Olsson

13. Jonas Olsson

Title Number
Appearances 28 (2)
Goals 1
Assists 0
Yellows 10
Reds 0
*Current Season

But the Sweden international concedes that Albion and the Blues have both enjoyed success in the 21 months since Di Matteo left the Hawthorns.

Di Matteo has led Chelsea to Champions League and FA Cup glory while the Baggies have become established in the Barclays Premier League under Roy Hodgson and now former Chelsea coach Steve Clarke.

Olsson, part of the Swedish side which defeated England in mid-week, told Press Association Sport: "I rate Roberto Di Matteo very highly.

"I was very clear when the club sacked him that I wasn't (in favour of it). I really enjoyed working with him.

"He is a good coach and I really connected with him as a person as well.

"But everything happens for a reason I guess and, for him, it turned out very good and, for us, it turned out well.

"We got Roy Hodgson as manager and really pushed on from there and Roberto went to Chelsea and had a fantastic career there.

"It will be good to see him but, when it is game time, we will be looking to keep going and keep doing what we've been doing this season."

Regarding Di Matteo's success at Stamford Bridge, Olsson said: "I'm not surprised he has done well. I think everyone is surprised how well he has done.

"He has won the FA Cup, the Champions League, and is doing well this year. I didn't think anyone, not himself either, thought he was going to do that well.

"But I'm not surprised he has come in and done well because I know how big a name he is there and how well respected he is at the club. My hat goes off to him. It will be special Saturday.

"I remember last year we played them and we beat them and, after the game, Andre Villas-Boas was sacked.

"For Roberto, it will be special to come to the Hawthorns again. Hopefully he will get a good reception."

Clarke worked under Jose Mourinho at Stamford Bridge but has no regrets about branching out and eventually becoming number one at Albion this season.

He said: "It would be wrong to say it is just another game because I had a great association with Chelsea.

"Nobody can take that away from me. It was good times. But I've moved on and I have to do the job now for Albion.

"I could probably still have been at Chelsea now if I'd chosen to take that path.

"I decided to take away the safety net to challenge myself and push myself. It's a decision I made a number of years ago and I'm comfortable with that decision."

Clarke is mindful of not getting carried away with West Brom's current success.

He said: "The supporters have to enjoy this moment because they know, the same as I know, there will be days over the coming months that won't be so good, and weeks that won't be so good.

"This game is a good benchmark for us. It's not dissimilar to when Manchester City came a couple of weeks ago and we wanted to challenge ourselves against them.

"We lost the game but we came out of the game with a higher self-esteem, if you like, because we knew we'd given them a really tough game.

"We'll aim to do that again against Chelsea on Saturdays - but this time we're looking for a positive result."


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