West Brom keeper Ben Foster today urged chairman Jeremy Peace to do whatever it takes to tie key defender Jonas Olsson to a new Hawthorns contract.
The Baggies No.1 hailed Olsson and Gareth McAuley as one of the Premier League’s best centre-back pairings after their impressive start to the new season.
And Foster is hoping for a successful conclusion to Olsson’s long-running contract talks with the Sweden international’s current deal set to expire at the end of the season.
“He is such an important part of our team,” said Foster. “I think the chairman needs to lock them both in a room and hopefully get something sorted out.
“Jonas is so important, he really is, and so is Gareth McAuley. Those two are such an important part of the team and it’s people like Jonas we need to be keeping if we are going to be pushing on.
“Those two play week in, week out, I don’t think they’ve missed a game for a good long time.
“If you take all those things into account, I’d much rather be playing with those two than the majority of defensive pairings.
“They have been that way since the middle of last season. They are absolute warriors.
“You know they are going to block everything, head everything and kick everything.
“They took some serious knocks on Sunday (at Villa), they have got bumps and bruises all over, but they will always be in there fighting for you and it’s nice to have two people like that in front of you.”
Albion remain hopeful that they can persuade Olsson to sign a new contract but the 29-year-old could still opt to leave on a Bosman transfer next summer.
Foster, meanwhile, responded to a poor night against Liverpool in the Capital One Cup with an excellent display in the 1-1 Premier League draw at Villa Park, including two fine saves from Brett Holman.
And the reigning Albion player of the year revealed his relief at putting his midweek woes behind him straight away.
“It was nice to put Wednesday behind me,” he said. “I’m very happy with that. There was not a lot I could do with the Villa goal. It was a bit of a scruffy one.
“I don’t get too wrapped up in this football thing anyway. As soon as you get home, you move on, although we had to wait an extra day for the game.
“It is nice to go out there and put in a decent performance and help my team to get a point.”