And boss explains how he'll pick players up for Norwich trip
PEPE Mel admitted there are some harsh lessons to be learned as his men were cruelly denied a victory by a last-gasp Cardiff equaliser in today’s 3-3 Hawthorns draw.
The Baggies stormed into a two-goal lead after just nine minutes thanks to Morgan Amalfitano and Graham Dorrans goals.
But Jordon Mutch’s strike on the half-hour mark gave the visitors a lifeline and the Baggies’ hard work was undone on 70 when Steven Caulker headed in to level the scores.
Super-sub Thievy looked to have handed Albion the three points in the 94th minute with his second goal for the club.
But - with stoppage time seemingly over - Saido Berahino and three of his team-mates broke, only to gift possession to the Bluebirds, who instantly pumped the ball forward and pinched a point through substitute Mats Daehli.
“We must learn from these things," said Mel.
“I think the team played well.
“Both teams were trying to win but I think today, frankly, West Brom were better.
“The team has recently been playing well and we must continue to trust in the fact we’re going to stay up.
“The spirit in the changing room at the moment is quite bad.
“They will see tomorrow we played a good game and the result should have really been a better one for us because we played better.
“But a wrong decision was made today; we were 3-2 up with just 30 seconds remaining and on the counter-attack.
“That should have really been the end of the game.
“Saido is a young player in whom we have a lot of hope.
“He will go on to learn the most important thing are the points and the team.
“But we do have a lot of hope that in the future he will go on to become a good player.”
The Albion chief also questioned why the final whistle did not come before City equalised after the fourth official signalled only four minutes added time.
“I don’t understand,” he added.
“Four minutes are four minutes.
“Apparently an extra minute was played because of the fact we scored the goal.”
The Baggies are now 17th, three points above the drop zone, with seven games remaining.
And Mel explained how he is going to lift his troops ahead of next Saturday’s trip to fellow strugglers Norwich (ko 3pm), who are just three points ahead with an inferior goal difference.
“I will simply show them the video of the first-half and how well they played; so they can see they’re capable of playing well,” he insisted.
“The fact they came back into it at 2-1 gave them a lot of confidence and Cardiff also needed a win so they needed to attack.
“The fact is we had many opportunities to go and score the third goal a lot earlier.”