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Mel hails players for comeback

15 March 2014

Boss relieved to secure first win of Albion reign

PEPE Mel hailed his players for the second-half comeback that boosted Albion’s survival chances – and gave him his first win as Baggies boss.

The visitors got off to the worst possible start in the Liberty Stadium encounter as they fell behind to Roland Lamah’s second-minute strike and found themselves 1-0 down at half-time.

But Mel’s men came out with renewed vigour after the break and a leveller from Stephane Sessegnon six minutes after the restart gave Youssouf Mulumbu the chance to make himself the hero with a winner five minutes from time.

It was the Baggies’ first victory since New Year’s Day and lifts them up to 16th and three points clear of the bottom three.

“I am pleased for the fans and the players,” said Mel.

“We needed to win and in football confidence is all.

“Hopefully things will be different now.

“At half-time we needed calm.

“We talked about the problems, talked about the football and the future.

“The space the Swansea midfielders were getting was not good for us and they always seemed to be getting the second balls.

“That was a problem and we changed it.

“It is only 45 minutes and we needed to turn things around – the football players at West Brom are intelligent.

“These 45 minutes were really important for us – and I think it was important we scored early in the second half.”

The Hawthorns head coach admitted it was a relief to get his first three-point haul in his eighth game in charge.

But he also issued words of warning that everyone in the Albion camp must quickly turn their attentions to another big game at Hull City next Saturday (ko 3pm).

“The next game is the most important for us against Hull City," he added.

“We need to win again.

“The most important thing now is to look to the future and only the next game.

“I’m pleased the players can be happy – but only tomorrow.

“In the next training session it is important we do hard work and are together again.”

But – when asked in his post-match media conference whether Sessegnon’s strike or Mulumbu’s goal was better – he quipped: “It’s not important if it is lovely or not – it’s a goal! But they were both lovely goals.”


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