sport

Mel: Four more points needed

West Brom manager Pepe Mel believes his side need four points from their remaining four games to ensure Premier League survival.

Albion head into Saturday's clash with West Ham at The Hawthorns just three points above the relegation zone, although they have played one game less than the three sides directly below them.

Following the "final" against the Hammers, Mel takes his side to Arsenal and bottom club Sunderland before facing Stoke at home on the final day of the season.

"This was the idea that I had of the Premier League - that it is the most competitive league in the world," said Mel.

"Any team is capable of beating any other team - look at Sunderland, who drew at Manchester City and then won at Chelsea.

"What we really have clear is that we need four points from the last four games.

"If we consider that West Ham (who are 12th) are safe with 37 - that's also what we need.

"Last year 36 was actually the cut-off point. I think 37 will be enough to keep us up."

Monday's 3-1 loss at Manchester City was preceded by a five-game sequence in which Albion won twice and were only beaten once, and Mel has been encouraged by their recent performances.

"Saturday is the final. There is only one match," he added. "We've played under pressure recently in games against Cardiff (a 3-3 draw), Norwich (a 1-0 win) and Tottenham (another 3-3 draw), and in these three games we've done very well.

"In the last six we've won two and drawn two, so I believe we are ready.

"The City game really was very difficult, particularly with us being 2-0 down inside 10 minutes.

"But some of the performances we have seen recently are those we need to see in order to keep ourselves up."

Centre-back Gareth McAuley is a doubt for Saturday's clash after he suffered a calf injury in training, and Mel admits his absence could hamper his side's ability to cope with the threat of West Ham powerhouse Andy Carroll.

Mel said: "The player at the moment who is most worrying me is Gareth McAuley. He hasn't actually trained since his injury.

"He will be subject to tests on Friday but it really doesn't look positive - particularly because West Ham are a very strong side, with Andy Carroll.

"It's absolutely certain that Ridgewell won't play in this game - he could well be out of the next two games."