Mel: Assistants give West Brom team talk

West Brom manager Pepe Mel admits he will struggle to communicate with his players as well as he would like before the summer.

West Brom manager Pepe Mel looks on

Spaniard Mel had spent virtually all his professional career as a player and a coach working in his homeland before taking on the West Brom job at the start of this year, and the 51-year-old admits his English was pretty much non-existent.

And because of that, the former Real Betis boss currently delegates his half-time team talks to assistants Keith Downing and Dean Kiely.

Mel explains to the duo what he wants to convey to the players during the interval, and concedes there is not enough time for him to try to put his point across himself.

That is due to his limited language skills, but Mel is confident that will not be a problem soon.

Speaking in broken English, he said in a press conference: "When you're head coach the language is most important, because for the job communication is important.

"For this reason, Dean and Keith are very important people for me. I always speak with them and explain my ideas and talk about the problems with them, and then at half-time Keith and Dean talk about it with the players.

"Because if I speak about it in the changing room it's possible the referee's whistle blows and West Brom must go back out on the pitch!

"I'm 51, and four months before I arrived here I never speak English, I think in three or four months more I'll speak well."

Asked how that might change things in the team for next season, Mel said: "It's better for me because the private relationship, face to face, is important for me. I need to reach the players and the only way is through language."

Mel picked up his first victory since taking charge last weekend as West Brom beat Swansea 2-1 away from home.

That lifted the Baggies clear of the relegation zone and they will be hoping to build on that result when they go to Hull this weekend.

West Brom are now three points above the bottom three and while Mel is refusing to predict what points total his side might need for safety, he believes he can keep them up.

"Yes of course. I think West Brom have every opportunity for staying in the Premier League," he said.

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