Veltman: Everyone is hungry to play

Defender believes Albion's squad depth will be important during intensive run of games.

By Bruce Talbot • 19 September 2023

By Paul Hazlewood
Joel Veltman salutes the fans after Saturday's win over Manchester United.

Albion’s performance and result at Old Trafford on Saturday with a much-changed team bodes well for the Europa League campaign, according to Joel Veltman.

The Dutch defender was one of six changes made by Roberto De Zerbi against Manchester United but Albion still won 3-1.

Afterwards, the head coach reiterated that everyone in his squad needs to be ready to play during intensive spells of matches before Christmas. Saturday’s game was the first of seven in the next three weeks. The second is on Thursday when Albion host AEK Athens in their first Europa League fixture. 

“We have a really good squad, and everyone is hungry to play,” said Veltman.


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“If you look at the quality of the guys who came on against United it’s ridiculous how good they are. They all helped us to get a really good result.”

While Thursday’s tie will be a new experience of several players there is a group with plenty of European experience including Veltman, who played in the 2017 final for another of Albion’s group rivals Ajax.

“We have a few players with a lot of experience of European football but the competition will be different – styles of play, the opposition, the stadiums and, of course, recovering quickly before the next game is going to be so important.

“Thursday is going to be a huge game for the club, and it’s nice that it will be at home and that we go into it with a nice win on Saturday in our pocket.”