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Mel: West Brom will stay up

Pepe Mel has boldly predicted that West Bromwich Albion, who sit just above the drop zone at present, 'will be playing in the Premier League next season'.

If he is to deliver on that promise, the Spaniard needs to find a way of turning the Baggies' fortunes around.

Since being appointed as the permanent successor to Steve Clarke in January, Mel has been unable to halt Albion's slide down the top-flight standings.

He is still looking for his first three-point haul and knows that only goal difference is keeping West Brom out of the bottom three.

Mel is, however, convinced that he has the tools at his disposal to oversee a repair job and keep the Baggies among English football's elite.

He said in the Birmingham Mail: "I think West Brom won't be relegated, never, not possible. I am sure, of course.

"West Brom will be playing in the Premier League next season, sure.

"I always think in a positive way. Even if the questions are negative, I give them a positive light.

"But for me, it's more important that the players think that too. That's the most important thing for me. I am the coach, I don't play, it's the players."

West Brom's next outing could go a long way towards determining their fate, as they play host to rock-bottom Fulham on Saturday, and Mel sees that contest as the first step on the road to recovery.

Outlining his survival plans, the former Real Betis boss added: "Of course, we need to win. We need to beat Fulham and after that we need to win the other games.

"I think we need to win five more games.

"(Fulham) is very important because they are in the relegation zone.

"Our focus is the way forward to win. The other thing is mental."