Club News

McAuley gives Mel worry in face of Carroll test

But boss backs players to beat pressure against West Ham

PEPE Mel has revealed Gareth McAuley faces a late fitness test tomorrow (Friday) to see if he will be able to play against West Ham on Saturday (ko 3pm) – as he backed his players to beat the pressure.

The Baggies defender missed Monday’s trip to Manchester City after picking up a calf problem in training.

And he has yet to train this week, leaving Mel keeping his fingers crossed the Northern Ireland international will be available to help tackle the aerial threat of Andy Carroll and Co.

“The player who is most worrying me at the moment is Gareth McAuley,” said Mel.

“He hasn’t actually trained since his injury and tomorrow he’ll be subject to tests.

“We could do with him particularly because West Ham are a very strong side, especially with Andy Carroll.”

Albion go into the Hawthorns encounter three points above the drop zone, with four games remaining and a game in hand on three of the four teams below them.

But Mel has every faith his troops will stay strong in the face of adversity.

“We’ve played under pressure in games against Cardiff, Norwich and against a really strong side in Spurs,” he added.

“In each of these games we’ve done well.

“In the last six games we have actually won two and drawn two, so I believe we are ready.”