sport

Mel hopes to repay faith

Pepe Mel is determined to show that West Bromwich Albion have made the right decision in turning to a different type of coach, and has been quoted as telling Spanish radio that he plans to bring in his own backroom staff in the summer.

Former Real Betis boss Mel has signed an 18-month contract to take charge at West Brom and become the permanent successor to Steve Clarke, who was sacked last month.

Keith Downing has been at the helm for the past five games and will not pass over the reins until after Saturday's clash with Southampton.

Mel is relishing the prospect of testing himself in the Premier League, but has suggested to radio station Cadena Ser that he then hopes to appoint two of his own coaches at the end of the season.

He said: "Roberto Rios and David Gomez are two people whom I love and I have helped a lot. From May I hope they can join me.

"It's something that one always dreams about when you want to be a manager or a player, because I think the Premier League attracts the whole of the football world.

"I cannot wait to taste it. It was always in my head to work in England. It has always attracted me.

"As a footballer, obviously I did not have the level to be here.

"And, as a manager, I hope to be able to earn the right to do well and be able to have a career here.

"I will try to enjoy the Premier League. I'm coming here with tremendous ambition to do well and earn the right to be a Premier League manager.

"West Brom want a Spanish model coach and I hope to show them that they were not wrong."

Downing welcomed the appointment of Mel on Friday and played down reports that Mel would be bringing in his own staff in the summer.

"I'm not aware he wants to bring in his own people," he said. "We've been told to carry on as normal and I trust the club to do what they've done over the last five or six years."