ZOLTAN Gera believes Pepe Mel has a number of leaders he can rely on to help steer Albion clear of danger as the team adapts to the new head coach’s style of play.
The Hungary skipper joined Diego Lugano (Uruguay), James Morrison (Scotland) and Steven Reid (Ireland) against Everton as one of four players in the Spaniard’s first starting XI who have captained their country.
And Gera feels that experience in the ranks paid dividends as the 13th-placed Baggies came from behind in a 1-1 draw with the Champions League-chasing Toffees to move a further point away from the bottom three.
“I think you need some experienced players in the team,” said the midfielder.
“It doesn’t mean you need to be over 35, you need to read the game well and say the right things.
“We have enough experienced players.
“Reidy [Steven Reid] is a perfect example – he reads the game well.
“Being experienced helps you when you’re under pressure, in trouble, and when you’re not doing something well and you need to respond in the game.
“You don’t have to be old you just need leaders in your team.
“When a new head coach comes in with new ideas you have to understand what he wants from the team.”
Gera views the Hawthorns stalemate as a positive start to Mel’s reign and expects his team-mates to build on it in Wednesday’s derby at Villa (ko 7.45pm).
“I think he is a nice man,” he added.
“He’s told us clearly what he wants from us, which is a change in mentality.
“I think the players and the squad have reacted well.
“We will get better and better.
“Everyone was so excited to play under the new head coach in the first game.
“The second half was better and I expect we will get better game by game.”