With four fixtures remaining, Pepe Mel believes West Bromwich Albion are just four points from securing their top-flight survival.
Under Steve Clarke the Baggies finished a club record eighth place in the Premier League last season, but the Scot was relieved of his duties in December of this campaign following a sequence of four successive Defeats. Academy coach Keith Downing was appointed on a caretaker basis, until Mel was lured from Spain in the New Year.
Despite the arrival of the affable 51-year-old Albion remain in relegation trouble as the season draws to a close, with just three points separating them and third-bottom Cardiff City although they have the comfort of a game in hand. And Mel has given his players a target of securing four points from their last four games to clinch survival.
“What we really have clear is that we need four points from the last four games,” he said. “Last year 36 was actually the cut-off point. I think 37 will be enough to keep us up. In the last six we’ve won two and drawn two, so I believe we are ready. Some of the performances we have seen recently are those we need to see in order to keep ourselves up.”
Albion resume their fight against the drop on Saturday after when Sam Allardyce and West Ham United visit the Hawthorns, which is followed by successive trips to top-four candidates Arsenal and fellow strugglers Sunderland. The final weekend of the season sees Mel and his players entertain Stoke City, by which stage they will hope to have secured safety.