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Pepe Mel: Albion have to avoid shoot-out

Sport | Published:

Pepe Mel today claimed Albion cannot risk a tense final-day survival battle against Stoke and former Baggies striker Peter Odemwingie.

Mel believes as many as 38 points might be needed to keep his side in the Premier League.

But he insisted he does not want to head into the meeting with Odemwingie and the Potters on the last day of the season needing victory to avoid relegation.

Mel takes his side to Norwich this afternoon with 2,500 Baggies fans also making the trip.

Vital

And the Spaniard said: "What is vital for us is three points. What we can't do is go into that Stoke game needing three points to keep ourselves up.

"Last season it was 36 points that were needed but I think this season we will need 38.

"We're only looking upwards. We are looking to climb places. This month is very important for us."

And Mel insisted the distractions of Nicolas Anelka's sacking and Saido Berahino's dressing-room bust-up with James Morrison will not prevent his side staying up.

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"Every week is like this," he said. "If it's not the Anelka incident or when a player has said something, it's the Saido incident.

"We are always having to deal with something and it is very difficult. I will be happy on May 12 when West Brom have been kept up."

Meanwhile, goalkeeper Ben Foster today insisted the Baggies have put their agonising 3-3 draw with Cardiff behind them despite admitting it was one of his lowest days in football.

The Baggies squandered 2-0 and 3-2 leads, conceding an equaliser in the final seconds of stoppage time.

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It sparked an angry dressing-room clash between striker Berahino and midfielder Morrison.

Foster said: "We turned up for training on Monday and it was all focus on Norwich.

"We had a good team meeting, we looked at everything that happened in the Cardiff game, where we went wrong and where we can put it right.

"It was horrible last weekend. It was probably the saddest I've ever been after a football game. It was absolute elation turned to pure sadness.

"But we've got to look at the positives and the fact we actually played really, really well."

n Albion's game at Arsenal has been moved to Sunday, May 4, at 1.30pm for live television coverage.

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