Get Albion squad sorted soon, Gareth McAuley urges

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Gareth McAuley today urged Albion to finalise their squad for the start of pre-season training as the head coach hunt prepared to enter its fourth week.

The Baggies hope to make headway in the next few days in the search for Pepe Mel's successor as concerns grow behind the scenes that further delays could see them miss out on their top transfer targets.

McAuley is keen for the club to do their transfer business early to avoid a repeat of last season, when they never recovered from a poor start and avoided relegation by just three points.

"There is a lot of work to go on and a lot of things to get right in the summer," said McAuley.

"We need to get the new players in and, when we go away for pre-season, that's the best time for everyone to be in because you're working on stuff.

"If you do it just before the start of the new season, new faces pop up and they don't know what you've been working on for the previous five or six weeks and it's difficult for them to get going.

"Hopefully we can get things sorted as early as possible and not have a season like this again."

"We need to make sure the players that are coming back for pre-season are coming back ready to have a good season and get off to a good start because last year we didn't have a good start and never really got going."

Behind the scenes, there are concerns among staff that the absence of a head coach could see the club lose ground in the race for signings.

But they hope to move towards the interview phase next week with key personnel due back from holiday.

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