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No villains in keepers’ union says Bond

5 February 2019

Jonathan Bond is urging Albion not to get ahead of themselves as they switch their focus to the Emirates FA Cup.

The young keeper, so impressive in keeping clean sheets against Wigan and Brighton whom the Baggies now face in a fourth round replay, knows fans are already dreaming of a quarter-final spot. 

Victory over their Premier League opponents at The Hawthorns on Wednesday would be followed by another home tie against fellow Sky Bet Championship promotion challengers Derby County.

“We’ve got a strong squad, a big squad, and having done so well to earn this replay, this is a big opportunity everyone will want to take,” says Bond. “But we must not get ahead of ourselves.

“We’ve still got to get past a strong Premier League team to get to a fifth round game which would hardly be called a rollover. So it’s still a very difficult path. 

“You never know how these things turn out with a couple of good performances… we’ll see how things pan out. There’s been quite a lot of surprises in this season’s competition already and everyone talks about the magic of the Cup. It seems to still be there.

“But this is still a very difficult game and I get the impression Chris Hughton (Brighton manager) wants to do well in this competition and will field a strong team again. It will be a very difficult game again.”

The 25-year-old has so far been restricted to Cup appearances although he did take advantage of an illness to Boaz Myhill before the third-round win over Wigan to seize the first understudy spot behind Sam Johnstone.

He is now well accustomed to the like of the goalkeeper pushing for a place at the expense of a team-mate but never of their friendship.

“I’m 25, I’ve settled in and I’m really happy here and it is just one of those things where you have to wait for your opportunity,” he explains.

“You have to train right, get your preparation right… but it’s out of your control how an opportunity comes to you.

“It doesn’t matter what the other guys are doing. You train right, play well and try to make sure that when a chance comes you are ready to take it. There is nothing nasty in the goalkeepers’ union.”

Head Coach Darren Moore selected a team sprinkled with Academy products for the first game and if he adopts the same policy for the replay Bond is confident they will again acquit themselves well.

“We made a lot of changes for that match and played a lot of the young Academy lads who did unbelievably well,” he added. ”The Club were very proud of them having brought them through. They will all be bursting for the chance to take another opportunity to show the gaffer what they can do.”


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