Sweden defender Jonas Olsson expects Roy Hodgson to bring best out of England


Click to follow
The Independent Online

Sweden defender Jonas Olsson believes new England manager Roy Hodgson will inspire and get the best out of the current squad during Euro 2012.

Olsson can already see the same style and system which proved successful for Hodgson when in charge at West Brom being integrated into the England set-up after watching the 1-1 draw with France.

Baggies centre-back Olsson rates Hodgson as "a top, top coach" but knows Sweden need a positive result from Friday's meeting with England in Kiev to keep their qualification hopes alive.

Olsson said: "The way England played against France is very similar to the way Roy Hodgson set the team up at West Brom.

"It's an organised team, they defend well and are good on the counter-attack with the pace they have upfront from (Alex) Oxlade-Chamberlain, (Danny) Welbeck and (Theo) Walcott.

"Roy is a top, top coach. I really enjoyed the time under him at West Brom. He is experienced and is good at inspiring players, and he is a very nice man as well.

"That is important, that you connect with someone you are working with on a personal level as well and have that respect for him.

"That respect will make you go those extra yards for him and I'm sure the England players will feel the same."

Olsson does not expect Hodgson to be concerned at some of the negative reaction to England's style of play when holding France in Donetsk on Monday evening.

He said: "With the English media, no matter how England set up, the coach will always get criticised.

"Roy has been criticised by some from day one but he is experienced and I'm sure he can cope with that."

Olsson knows Sweden cannot afford any more slip ups after Ukraine came from behind to defeat them 2-1 on Monday thanks to two goals from Andriy Shevchenko.

He said: "We were disappointed to lose after going in front. Had we kept the lead for another few minutes, I think the outcome would have been different.

"We are in a position where we can't lose any more games and hopefully we can win both.

"We will focus on Friday first, try to get a good result there. It will be nicer to win both games and not be depending on other results.

"The old cliche applies that it's still in our own hands. If we win the last two, we will get through."

Olsson has given his backing to new West Brom boss Steve Clarke but will make no decision on his future until after the Euros.

He has only one year left of his current Albion deal and has been strongly linked with a summer move to Tottenham.

Olsson said: "I think Steve Clarke can do very well for us. I spoke to him briefly the other day and he seems like a nice man.

"He has done well with the teams he has coached so I am happy.

"I think it is a good appointment and I think he will do well for West Brom."

When asked if Clarke could persuade Olsson to stay at West Brom, he said: "It's not in my focus right now, my future at West Brom.

"I'm just going to focus on this tournament and the game on Friday against England.

"I've said all along I would think about my own position after the European Championships and nothing has changed."