Mel: Future talks must wait
Pepe Mel is expecting to hold talks regarding his future as West Bromwich Albion boss, but only when the club are safe.
The Spaniard, who only inherited the managerial reins at The Hawthorns in January, recently hinted that he may not stick around to see out an 18-month contract.
Speaking ahead of the visit of Tottenham on Saturday, he has claimed that he would welcome the opportunity to stay on in England, providing the Baggies remain a Premier League outfit.
That standing is jeopardy at present, with only five points keeping them clear of the drop zone, and Mel insists steering clear of trouble has to be the priority for all concerned - with discussions about the way forward set to take place at a later date.
Asked what the plans are from this point and whether he is still facing up to an uncertain future in the Midlands, Mel said in the Birmingham Mail: "Yes, because I don't know.
"The most important thing is that West Brom are in the Premier League.
"Shortly, in the near future, I'll have a meeting with West Bromwich Albion, but until it's totally clear about where the club is going to be, the meeting will not take place.
"(It will be held) when West Brom are safe and the message I'd like to send to the fans is that I'm very happy at West Brom and I'd be proud to lead the club next season.
"For me it would be important to be here for pre-season, put together my ambitions and start from scratch.
"But you must understand that we're still not safe. We need to beat Tottenham and get a few more points to be able to speak calmly about this sort of thing."
Mel admits it has been a steep learning curve for him and his players since he was asked to succeed Steve Clarke, but he is pleased to be edging ever closer to the ultimate target of top-flight survival.
He added: "Ever since I've been here I've had to fight difficult situations.
"Sometimes I've had to act against my thinking and do what's best for West Bromwich.
"When I came in on January 14 I had a very difficult job ahead of me but I said I was sure West Brom would stay in the Premier League.
"I had to learn a language as quickly as I could and learn my players. Together we are achieving this.
"If we win (on Saturday against Spurs) we've nearly achieved it but there will still be five games and 15 points to play for."