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Veltman: Joao deserves credit for Newcastle display

Evan Ferguson may have stolen the headlines with his hat-trick but Joel Veltman says the performance of his fellow forward didn't go unnoticed.

By Bruce Talbot • 03 September 2023

By Paul Hazlewood
Joel Veltman was outstanding on his return to the starting line-up against Newcastle.

Joel Veltman believes Albion’s win over Newcastle wasn’t just a tale of one striker.

Evan Ferguson became only the fourth 18-year-old to score a Premier League hat-trick in our 3-1 victory at the Amex on Saturday, but Veltman said Joao Pedro’s performance alongside him did not go unnoticed. 

“I think João was a bit underrated in the game, but he did some incredible things for us, holding up the ball, keeping [Fabian] Schär behind him, and from then on we could create chances. He didn’t score three goals (like Ferguson) but he was amazing.

“Obviously they have lots of quality to create chances, but we played to our strengths. We had 1 vs 1s with our strikers Joao and Evan opening up the game, creating spaces behind their defenders.

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De Zerbi: Ferguson played for the team

“We showed a great fighting spirit as well against such a strong, physical team like Newcastle. They’re an amazing side, but we didn’t give up. We won our 50-50 duels and from then on we could play our game.”

Ferguson, though, stole the show and gave a complete performance according to Veltman.

“He can score with his head, he can score with his right foot and his left. He’s still young and iyet he can score a hat-trick against a strong team like Newcastle - we are happy for him,” added Joel.