Pepe Mel has dismissed the possibility of West Bromwich Albion suffering relegation from the Premier League this season.
The Spaniard was installed as Steve Clarke’s successor earlier this year, after the Scot was sacked due to a poor run of results which left the Baggies languishing near the danger zone in the top-flight. At present, Albion are only out of the relegation zone courtesy of a better goal difference than Sunderland, with both sides on 24 points.
Mel has failed to improve results since his appointment last month, and is still waiting for his first win. He must feel this weekend gives him the ideal opportunity when bottom-placed Fulham visit the Hawthorns, and he will approach the game with the optimism of a manager who believes it is incomprehensible his side will be relegated.
“I think West Brom won’t be relegated, never, not possible. I am sure, of course,” he told the Birmingham Mail. “West Brom will be playing in the Premier League next season, sure. I always think in a positive way. Even if the questions are negative, I give them a positive light. But for me, it’s more important that the players think that too. That’s the most important thing for me. I am the coach, I don’t play, it’s the players.”
Mel, a former striker who failed to make the grade at Real Madrid, has suffered relegation during his coaching career. After succeeding Rafael Benitez at Tenerife in 2001, his side dropped into the second-tier of Spanish football in his only campaign in charge. He was also sacked by both Rayo Vallecano and, more recently, Real Betis.