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West Brom boss Mel grateful to right-hand men

West Bromwich Albion manager Pepe Mel has thanked his assistants for helping him get through a tough time.

The Spaniard oversaw his first Premier League win when the Baggies beat Swansea City 2-1 at the Liberty Stadium on Saturday which was a massive relief on two fronts as it opened his account and pushed the West Midlands club three points clear of the drop zone.

Mel replaced Steve Clarke in early January having no experience of English football but he is grateful to Keith Downing and Dean Kiely for helping him greatly in his endeavours.

"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!"

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Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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