Club News

Mel proud of his players

And boss feels earlier equaliser could have led to win

PEPE Mel admitted he was proud of his players after they came from behind at half-time to draw 1-1 with in-form Barclays Premier League leaders Chelsea.

Super-sub Victor Anichebe’s 87th-minute leveller – his third goal of the campaign – cancelled out Branislav Ivanovic’s opener on the stroke of half-time.

The Baggies boss was delighted with the way his team bounced back from their disappointing 3-1 defeat at Crystal Palace on Saturday.

And he even felt his men could have won the Hawthorns encounter had they got their equaliser earlier in the second half.

“Today for me it was a pleasure because the players showed good work and now, in the changing room, it is calmer and there is a good sensation,” said Mel.

“Chelsea are a top team in Europe and West Brom in the second half were better.

“Now I am a proud coach.

“Today was good for me.

“There were two different halves.

“The first half was good defence and only two chances for Chelsea.

“And in the second half there was good transition from defence to counter-attack.

“We showed a good mentality.

“If West Brom scored a goal earlier than we got the equaliser I’m sure we would have won the match.

“It is the best performance since I’ve been here.

“Chelsea is a good team, they are top.

“The players showed a good mentality to win.”

The Albion chief handed a full Barclays Premier League debut to Thievy Bifouma.

But it was Anichebe who stepped off the bench to grab the goal and a crucial point that lifts the Baggies out of the bottom three on goal difference, for at least 24 hours.

“It’s difficult for Thievy because it’s new football and he doesn’t speak English,” added Mel.

“But he is a good player for West Brom.

“His team-mates are happy with him.

“And I’m pleased for Victor.

“He’s a good player and important for us.”

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