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West Brom boss Pepe Mel hints at uncertain future

Sport | Published:

Albion boss Pepe Mel today hinted he has been given no assurances over his Hawthorns future.

The Spaniard avoided answering questions about his job as he spoke for the first time about a fortnight of turmoil behind the scenes.

Mel admitted he was not consulted over the exit of key ally Dave McDonough and offered an evasive response when asked whether the Baggies board had assured him he would remain in charge for the rest of the season.

"The only thing that's important for me is the day-to-day work and I'm not looking further beyond that," said Mel, who had not won in six games in charge ahead of today's Hawthorns clash with Manchester United.

"Even if you win games it is pointless looking any further beyond that."

McDonough, the club's former director of elite performance and scouting, was the high-profile casualty of a series of meetings involving players, coaches and the club's hierarchy after the concerns of senior squad members became known.

McDonough's increasing influence was one of the players' chief concerns and he departed last week in a surprise move by chairman Jeremy Peace.

But the former Liverpool analyst and fluent Spanish speaker was a key supporter of Mel, having been crucial in his appointment, and had been helping to translate for the head coach.

Former Real Betis coach David Gomez joined last month and is now translating.

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Mel said: "Dave has been working for me in this period of time and I thank him very much for the way he has worked.

"It (McDonough's exit) was a club decision and David Gomez has come in."

Meanwhile, Mel said he does not believe Nicolas Anelka will appeal against his five-match suspension for making the 'quenelle' gesture when celebrating a goal at West Ham in December.

The Frenchman was given the ban by a three-man independent commission appointed by the FA but he could still appeal.

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He is currently suspended by the Baggies.

Mel was ordered by the club not to comment on the disciplinary process but, asked whether Anelka would appeal, he said: "I don't think so but I can't answer these questions. It's best that Richard Garlick (sporting and technical directors) answers these questions.

"The club gave said to me they have maximum respect for the decision of the FA. We think Nicolas is a magnificent footballer and what we want is everything resolved as well as possible for all parties."

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