Olsson bullish for Baggies after impressive start to campaign

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The Independent Football

Jonas Olsson insists West Bromwich Albion are in the top six of the Premier League on merit and will not be scared of Saturday's game with Manchester United at Old Trafford.

The Baggies have been one of the surprise teams of the season so far, with the help of a 3-2 success over Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium. But central defender Olsson believes Albion deserve their lofty position after bouncing back from a six-goal mauling at Chelsea on the opening day of the campaign.

He said: "We are not going to apologise for being sixth because we deserve to be where we are.

"We've produced good performances against Arsenal and Tottenham in the League, played well at Liverpool even though we lost, and defeated Manchester City in the Carling Cup.

"We need to keep going and keep believing in our game plan but if you win at the Emirates, you shouldn't fear anyone."

Olsson added: "When you look back at your career, you remember going to places like Old Trafford and the Emirates.

"The way we're playing at the moment makes me confident and inspired to go there.

"We've earned the right to go there [Old Trafford] and give them a test."

Meanwhile, Henrik Larsson has admitted the greatest regret of his career was snubbing Sir Alex Ferguson's pleas for him to spend more time with Manchester United.

Ferguson sprang a major surprise when he confirmed Larsson as a short-term arrival during the 2007 January transfer window – and the striker made an instant impact at Old Trafford.

Although he only scored three goals in 13 matches, the now 39-year-old Swede made a significant impact on the Red Devils' performances during a difficult period of the season and ended the campaign with a title medal after special dispensation was granted by the Premier League.

Yet he also ended it back home in Sweden, having refused to go back on an agreement to return to Helsingborgs for the start of their domestic programme.

Yet now, at the start of a coaching career with Landskrona he never gave any indication of wanting to pursue, Larsson acknowledged he made a mistake when he refused Ferguson.

"If there is one regret I have from my career, it is that I came home to Sweden when Mr Ferguson was trying to get me to stay at Manchester United," Larsson told fifa.com.

"I should have stayed at United for longer because I had a great time there and everyone at the club was very keen to keep me. My time there was too short.

"The whole experience was fantastic and, although I was 35 at the time, I still felt that I had some good football in me. That is a regret."