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Mel takes players' opinions on board

PUBLISHED

05:00 1st February 2014

Boss enjoys constructive meeting ahead of Liverpool game

PEPE Mel is hoping a heart-to-heart with his players will help turn Albion’s fortunes around against Liverpool tomorrow (ko 1.30pm).

The new Baggies head coach opened the floor up to his troops in a team meeting yesterday following Wednesday’s 4-3 derby defeat at Villa, in which they threw away a 2-0 lead.

And he admits it was a hugely constructive exercise as he mulls over his options against the high-flying Reds.

“I talked to my players and it was a very, very good meeting,” said Mel.

“All the players gave their opinion and that’s important.

“The next match the thing is to play together in attack and defence.

“They enjoy playing this way but only if the first defence is the striker and the first attacker is the goalkeeper.

“The most important thing is not to chase a third goal when it is 2-0 - but to not concede.”

The Hawthorns chief has likened tomorrow’s encounter to his first game in charge against Everton.

“Liverpool is a big team that is striving for Champions League football,” added Mel.

“They have Suarez, yes, but for me Steven Gerrard is very important because he supplies the passes for Suarez.

“Suarez is at the moment the first or second best forward in the world.

“But for us the game is very, very important.

“It is unlike the Villa game but similar to the Everton game and it is important to press and regain the ball.

“We need the points and a win for the fans, and for us.”

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