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Monday, 20 October 2014, 20:00

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Mel praises back-room staff

Pepe Mel has revealed the key role being played by his assistants as West Brom fight against relegation.

Last Updated: 20/03/14 at 19:02 Post Comment

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Last weekend's win at Swansea was Mel's first since arriving from Spain and left his side three points above the bottom three with nine games to play - starting at Hull on Saturday.

Albion overturned a first-half deficit to win 2-1 in south Wales and Mel, who is still learning English, says the half-time team-talk was the work of right-hand men Dean Kiely and Keith Downing.

"Deano and Keith are very important people for me," he said. "At half-time they speak with the players. I think it's better.

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

"Always I speak with Keith and Deano to explain my ideas and talk about the opponent, and then at half-time Keith and Dean talk about it with the players.

"If I speak in the changing room, it's possible the referee whistles and West Brom must go back on the pitch!"

The language barrier is not Mel's only problem ahead of the weekend, when injury and suspension will deprive him of captain and vice-captain Chris Brunt and Jonas Olsson.

Gareth McAuley - one of just four fit senior defenders - will skipper the side against opponents two points and three places ahead in 13th.

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