Hubner | On his Asian Cup experience and Monday's International Cup quarter-final

Justin Hubner has spoken on his ‘amazing’ experience of playing for Indonesia in the Asian Cup last month.

The under-21s defender was part of the final squad competing in the tournament in Qatar, where Indonesia reached the knockout stages for the first time since 1996. Hubner played every minute for Shin Tae-yong’s side as they faced Iraq, Vietnam and Japan in the group stages before exiting following defeat to Australia in the round of 16. Now back at Wolves, Hubner has reflected on his time away, being back at Compton Park and Monday’s International Cup quarter-final at Crystal Palace.

On playing at the Asian Cup

“The Asian Cup was an amazing experience, it’s the biggest tournament in Asia.

“We had a really tough group with Iraq, Japan and Vietnam, but I think we did really well.

“We won one game against Vietnam so we qualified for the next round. Overall, it was an amazing experience and I was happy to be part of the team.”

On the experience

“Everything was sorted out so good for us. The hotel and facilities were really good, the pitches.

“We played in a World Cup stadium so it was really nice to play there. There were a lot of people in the stadium so overall it was really good to be there and play in the tournament.”

On his standout moment of the tournament

“Winning against Vietnam was the best thing for us in the Asian Cup. Indonesia and Vietnam are rivals, so we got a lot of messages saying we couldn’t lose against Vietnam.

“We won the game by a penalty, 1-0. After the game I was part of the Team of the Week so that was a big highlight for me and I was really proud.”

On playing against the best Asian players

“Before the Asian Cup we played a friendly against Iran and they had some really good players like Mehdi Taremi.

“In the Asian Cup we played against Japan who were probably the strongest team. (Takumi) Minamino, (Kaoru) Mitoma, (Takefusa) Kubo was playing so really strong players.

“It was amazing to play against them and it was really good.”

On how he’s benefitted from the Asian Cup

“I think I made some big steps and learnt a lot from this tournament - defensively and technically.

“It really helped me that I played this tournament for my career at Wolves.

“My social media is going crazy and I got a lot of positive reaction from the fans, a lot of messages from everyone over the world.

“No one was expecting Indonesia to go so far in the tournament and do so well, so a lot of positive things.”

On being back at Wolves and beating West Brom

“We did well with the under-21s. I think since I came back we haven’t lost a game, so we did well.

“It’s always good to beat the big rival of Wolves and I really enjoyed the game. I think we won quite easily and it’s always good to win the local derby – for the fans and also as a team.”

On Monday’s game at Crystal Palace

“I’m looking forward to playing this game. Hopefully we can win against Crystal Palace to go further in the tournament and go to the semi-finals.

“Hopefully we will get into the final and win this tournament. We’re going to do everything to win the game on Monday and we’ll see what happens.

“First, we need to play the game on Monday but I definitely want to play in the final and lift this trophy at the end.

“The most important thing is to win this game. We want to play nice football but at the end, the most important thing is to win and then we’ll see what happens after.”