Veltman: Nine more cup finals!

Defender says Albion will be ready when the push for Europe resumes on Wednesday.

By Bruce Talbot • 25 April 2023

By Paul Hazlewood
Joel Veltman is back in contention for Sunday's game against Southampton at the Amex.

Albion may not be back at Wembley again in June, but they still have nine more cup finals before the end of the season, according to defender Joel Veltman.

Joel admitted Sunday’s penalty shootout defeat to Manchester United in the FA Cup semi-final was extremely tough to take, but he insists the players are already focusing on the challenge of securing European football for the first time in our history.

Reflecting on Sunday’s Wembley drama, Joel – who would have taken Albion’s next penalty had it been needed – said, “Penalties are always 50-50 so to lose was obviously disappointing because we were really close. The gaffer said afterwards that we could be 100% proud of what we achieved to get to the semi-final and also with how well we played.

“We knew it would be different to the league game we won on the first day of the season, but we had chances especially at the end. I think we played our own game against United.


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FA Cup Highlights: Albion 0 Man United 0 (United win 6-7 on penalties)

“We lost but I know some people had us as favourites before and that’s a big compliment to how we have done since the start of the season, we have made so much progress. We are not afraid of any opposition, and we go into every game looking to win.

“The gaffer knows our qualities, and he gives us lots of confidence. You can see that how we are on the ball, especially the way we play out from the back. He’s done a great job tactically.”

The European push starts with the first of nine Premier League games between now and 28 May when we head to the City Ground on Wednesday.

“Now we can focus on the Premier League,” said Joel. “We are doing well, we have games in hand and some of them are nice ones to play in against the top four so we will look forward to them. But Forest away will be a tough one first so we need to focus on that.

“The season has probably exceeded expectations so far but we are not stopping yet. We’re still fighting for European football. Sunday was tough with 120 minutes and penalties, which was a new experience for some of us, but we’ll recover and rest and get ready for Wednesday.”