Mel wants Baggies reaction against Reds

West Brom boss Pepe Mel hopes a full and frank inquest into Wednesday's implosion against local rivals Aston Villa will ensure his side bounce back strongly against Liverpool this weekend.

West Brom

The Spaniard held a team meeting on Friday with everybody given the chance to have their say following the distressing 4-3 defeat at Villa Park.

Albion had led 2-0 against the hosts, only to capitulate when it mattered most, allowing Paul Lambert's side to fight their way back and snatch the points.

Mel is eager to move on from that disappointment and hopes his squad summit will have a positive effect.

"I had a very good meeting with all of the players and they were able to speak their opinion," said the Spaniard.

"In my opinion, West Bromwich Albion have to play together, in attack and defence.

"My players will work hard to win the next game. It's impossible to score three goals away and not win. It was down to mistakes. In the first 20-25 minutes we played well and looked on our way to winning the match.

"Villa's first goal was an individual mistake, which is normal in football, so there are no problems.

"But the team was nervous and I don't know why."

Mel hopes controversial striker Nicolas Anelka will only miss one match after suffering a nasty gash on his knee in midweek.

Anelka, who is awaiting a Football Association commission's decision over whether to ban him for his recent 'quenelle' celebration, suffered the knee injury in a challenge with Villa's Matthew Lowton on Wednesday.

Anelka will definitely miss Sunday's Barclays Premier League visit of Liverpool but the Baggies head coach hopes the flesh wound will have healed by the time West Brom travel to Crystal Palace on Saturday week.

"Anelka is injured, he has a lot of stitches in his knee, about seven or eight," said the Spanish coach, who was hoping to sign another striker before the transfer deadline.

"It's impossible for him to play. Shane Long has gone to Hull but it's possible to utilise Victor Anichebe, plus we have Saido Berahino who can play across the front three and Matej Vydra too.

"I think it's possible he can return to training next week but for now it's impossible that he can play."

Mel will be keen to take advantage of Anelka's availability while he can, in case the French striker is handed a lengthy ban when the FA commission makes its decision in late February.



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