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Pepe Mel apologises to fans as Zoltan Gera set for West Brom exit

Pepe Mel today apologised to fans for Albion's dismal display at Sunderland as he admitted injury could deny Zoltan Gera a Hawthorns swansong on Sunday.

Mel admitted he did not understand the reasons for the Baggies' abject display in last night's 2-0 defeat at the Stadium of Light.

And he revealed fans' favourite Gera is losing his race to make one final appearance against Stoke on Sunday before his likely exit from the club.

Goals from Jack Colback and Fabio Borini gave Sunderland the 2-0 win that secured their Premier League safety and saw them match Albion's 2005 'Great Escape', becoming only the second club to avoid relegation having been bottom at Christmas.

Mel said: "I would like to apologise to fans who made long trip. We still have a very important game on Sunday and I hope we play very differently

"We played with very little intensity in the first half. It wasn't good. We were better in the second half but Sunderland beat us in terms of intensity

"I'm very disappointed with the first half. I don't understand what happened. We weren't able to match their intensity.

"The changes we made at half time were because we hadn't won any second balls in the first half. We need to change the image we are giving of the team against Stoke City.

"We need to win the game so people go away happy and ensure that the final image they have is the best possible image.

"I really am extremely disappointed, especially for the fans who travelled to support us.

"This is why Sunday is really so important for us. We need to get a result against Stoke City."

Meanwhile, Gera looks set to face disappointment in his bid to figure against the Potters.

He has been out for a month with medial knee ligament damage but had hoped to return before the end of the season, when his contract expires and his second stint at The Hawthorns is likely to end.

"Zoltan Gera has not worked or trained since his injury," said Mel.

"So it's very difficult, almost impossible, he will play.

"Billy Jones (hamstring) didn't make the trip yesterday and Jonas Olsson is one we are saving, otherwise there was a great risk he wouldn't be able to play against Stoke City."

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