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May 11, 2014

Pepe Mel keen to seek assurances

West Brom boss Pepe Mel will demand assurances over the club's future plans when he heads into showdown talks with chairman Jeremy Peace early next week.

Charlie Adam celebrates in front of the Stoke fans after scoring the winner at West Brom.
Charlie Adam celebrates in front of the Stoke fans after scoring the winner at West Brom.

Mel's future at The Hawthorns is in doubt after a poor Premier League campaign which petered out with a 2-1 defeat to Stoke on Sunday.

Gareth McAuley's unfortunate 22nd-minute own goal gave the Potters an early lead and, despite Stephane Sessegnon's 56th-minute equaliser, substitute Charlie Adam won the game for the visitors with three minutes to go.

While Baggies officials still need convincing of the merits of extending Mel's contract, it is far from a one-way process with the Spaniard also adamant the club must look to learn from its mistakes.

Mel said: "I am going to listen to the chairman to find out what he wants for the future. Ten players are out of contract and we will need eight or nine players to come in.

"West Brom still have time to decide whether or not they want next season to be one as full of as many problems as this one.''

Mel gave a qualified answer to the question of whether he wished to stay at the club given reported interest from elsewhere.

"Yes -- but only in the knowledge that we have lots of possibilities to compete,'' added Mel.

"I think this season is a big lesson for West Brom. I like history because it is something that shows you how to learn from your mistakes.

"We have to ask why West Brom have had so many problems this year -- three different head coaches and three different players -- and we have to solve this in the summer.''

Stoke boss Mark Hughes hailed his side after a win which helped them achieve their preseason target of 50 points.

The Potters had gone into the game level with their previous Premier League best of 47 and Hughes revealed his side had been driven by the aim throughout their campaign.

Hughes said: "We talked at length at the beginning of the season about what we wanted to achieve. Maybe some players thought we were being unrealistic because it was as big ask and at times at the start of the season it was a bit of a struggle.

"But in the second half of the season we've been fantastic in terms of understanding what was required. We've been playing good stuff and getting results. To get 50 points on the board in the hardest league in world football is a huge achievement for a club such as Stoke.''

Hughes picked out the performance of Peter Odemwingie, who was predictably booed by the home fans due to his previous ignominious exit from The Hawthorns.

Hughes added: "It was always going to be a little bit difficult for Peter but he stuck at it and on another day he would have scored a couple of goals.

"Probably in his enthusiasm to score he snatched at a couple of chances but he's a good player. It's a shame there's a cloud over his career here because he did good things at West Brom but players move on and clubs need to move on too.''

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