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Mel appointed Albion head coach

9 January 2014 21:25

West Brom have appointed Spaniard Pepe Mel as their new head coach on an 18-month deal.

The appointment ends Albion's search for a successor to Steve Clarke, who was relieved of his duties after the Premier League defeat at Cardiff City on December 14, with Keith Downing taking caretaker charge.

Several names were linked with the top job at The Hawthorns, but Albion have turned to Mel, a man out of work since leaving La Liga outfit Real Betis last month.

Clarke's departure came on the back of four consecutive league defeats, but West Brom have since been unbeaten in the league due to Downing securing a win and three draws in four top-flight games.

Downing will remain in charge for Saturday's Premier League clash at Southampton and stay on as assistant head coach thereafter, while Dean Kiely will continue as goalkeeping coach.

Albion's sporting and technical director Richard Garlick has no doubt they have the right man for the job.

He said on the club's official website. "I’m delighted to welcome Pepe to the Club.

"His appointment concludes an extensive recruitment process during which we have cast the net far and wide to identify the most suitable candidate to take the Club forward.

"Pepe was a strong contender from the outset due to his impressive achievements and has emerged as our No.1 candidate.

"He is a forward-thinking coach whose teams are renowned for playing an attractive and positive style of football."

Madrid-born Mel led Betis to a seventh-placed finish in the Spanish top flight last season, but paid the price for a poor start to the current campaign when he was shown the door at the start of December with the Seville club bottom of the table.

The 50-year-old, a former Betis striker, has taken charge of eight different clubs in Spain and also had a spell with Brazlian giants Corinthians.

Mel's first game at the helm will be against Everton on January 20.

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Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 11 +17 29
2 11 +18 25
3 11 +10 21
4 11 +5 18
5 11 +4 18
6 11 +6 17
7 11 +3 16
8 11 -2 16
9 11 -1 15
10 11 +2 14
11 11 -1 14
12 11 -2 14
13 11 -2 13
14 11 -7 12
15 11 -2 11
16 11 -11 11
17 11 -6 9
18 11 -7 9
19 11 -11 8
20 11 -13 7

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