Club News

Mel hopes players have learned lesson

Baggies boss analyses Palace challenge

PEPE Mel hopes his players have ‘learned their lesson’ as they prepare to face relegation rivals Crystal Palace tomorrow (ko 3pm).

The Baggies boss has likened the challenge they face against the Eagles to the one they met in the 4-3 derby defeat at Villa nine days ago.

And he has described it as a very different task to the one his men encountered in their impressive 1-1 draw with high-flying Liverpool on Sunday.

“The players want to play the way we are playing,” said Mel.

“We have only been working on it for three weeks.

“But, for example, against Liverpool 32 per cent of our regains were in the opposition half.

“For West Brom that is a very, very good day – and this is the way for me.

“The problem is the next game is more difficult for us because Palace have mainly been using Chamakh and Jerome for their play and the midfielders have been getting the second ball.

“The last time we encountered this against Villa it was a problem.

“But hopefully the players have learned from this.”

The two teams are only separated by goal difference in the Barclays Premier League table, just a point above the bottom three.

And Mel has been impressed by the impact new Palace boss Tony Pulis has had in guiding his team off the foot of the table to give them a fighting chance of survival.

“It is automatic for Crystal Palace to play this way and they do it very, very well,” the Baggies boss added, as he looks to stop the hosts making it three successive home wins.

“They’ve found a way that is good for them.

“The head coach is a good coach to convince his players to play this way.

“Crystal Palace is now better and a good team.”