Richard Beale demanding strong start to PL Cup defence

Richard Beale

Albion PL2 boss Richard Beale has tasked his side to match their high standards from last season when they play their first Premier League Cup game against Watford on Thursday afternoon.

The young Baggies, who lifted the Premier League Cup at the end of the last campaign, will face the Hornets, Huddersfield Town and Middlesbrough during their group stage matches as they look to advance to the knockout stages in successive terms.

Albion players and staff celebrate their PL Cup success

They begin their defence of the cup at Hednesford Town's Keys Park Stadium on Thursday (ko 1pm), and Beale wants his players to set the tone during their opening PL Cup game.

Beale said: “We had a great run in the cup last year.

“The two games against Arsenal stand out as the best of the season last year, and the games against Fulham and Wolves too.

“We’ve set standards in those games in terms of effort levels and work rate, but we have to bring that basic standard to every single game.

“There’s different players this year and some younger ones too, so we’ve got to make sure they’re on it every single game because it’s such a big jump from U21s football to first team level.

Reyes Cleary has scored three goals from two PL2 matches

“We had a mad six minutes on Monday night. It was error-strewn and that cost us two points.

“But the level of our performances have been good, we’ve been creating chance after chance and on another day, we might have won by seven or eight.

“The boys are in a really good place, they’ve trained well and we’re excited to get out there again on Thursday.

“We’re looking forward to starting, what will hopefully be another good cup run.”

How to follow the match

Tickets will be available on the day for Albion's opening Premier League Cup game at Keys Park.

Prices are adults £5 and £1 for juniors.

Free entry for season ticket holders is not available for this fixture.

  • PL Cup
  • Beale