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Pepe Mel 'a forward thinking coach' for West Bromwich Albion

In a statement, West Bromwich Albion's Sporting and Technical Director Richard Garlick said Mel's appointment 'concluded an extensive recruitment process during which [the club has] cast the net far and wide'.

"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.

"The Board is extremely grateful to Keith, the coaching staff and players for their efforts over the past month, which has yielded six points from four unbeaten league games."

– Richard Garlick, Sporting and Technical Director

Breaking: West Brom appoint Pepe Mel as new head coach

Pepe Mel has been appointed Head Coach at West Bromwich Albion Credit: PA

West Bromwich Albion have appointed Pepe Mel as their new Head Coach, the club announced tonight.

Mel has signed an 18-month contract and takes over from Keith Downing, who took charge of the team for five games after Steve Clarke was sacked last month.

Spaniard Mel will be supported by Downing and Dean Kiely, who are continuing as Assistant Head Coach and Goalkeeping Coach respectively.

His first game in charge will be at home against Everton on Monday 30 January.


WBA clarify Shane Long's position

West Bromwich Albion have explained why they gave Shane Long permission to talk to Hull City on transfer deadline day, and say that the striker is still part of the club's plans. They deny that the transfer was dependent on Romelu Lukaku moving to the Hawthorns.

Albion say the deal fell through because Hull reduced the amount they'd offered for Long. They say that they're delighted Long is still a West Brom player and expect him to carry to contributing to the progress of the club.

West Brom suffer major injury setback

West brom midfielder Zoltan Gera will miss the rest of the season due to a knee injury, the club have confirmed.

Scans have confirmed the 33-year-old midfielder has ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee.

Gera suffered the injury in the 21st minute of Saturday's FA Cup third-round tie at QPR and is due to undergo an operation next week.

The usual rehab time for this injury is six-to-nine months.


Wilkinson to replace injured Wilson for Stoke

Wilson is likely to be out for three months with a fractured fibula Credit: PA

Stoke will be without Marc Wilson for three months for tomorrow's Barclays Premier League match at Norwich. Andy Wilkinson is expected to fill in at left-back.

Midfielder Glenn Whelan was not deemed fit enough to take part in that match but is now available for selection again having recovered from his hamstring problem, while Potters manager Tony Pulis has indicated winger Matthew Etherington could be line for a return to the first XI.

Provisional squad: Begovic, Sorensen, Huth, Shawcross, Cameron, Upson, Shotton, Whelan, Etherington, Delap, Palacios, Jones, Jerome, Crouch, Walters, Kightly, Whitehead, Adam, Edu, Nzonzi, Owen, Ness, Wilkinson.

Bennett to return for Aston Villa

Bennett (left) was sent off against Norwich last week Credit: PA

Left-back Joe Bennett will return from suspension after being sent-off against Norwich for tomorrow's Barclays Premier League clash at Sunderland.

However, midfielder Karim El Ahmadi will have to serve a one-game ban after incurring his fifth booking of the season during the midweek Capital One Cup win at Swindon.

Villa defender Chris Herd is a fitness doubt after being substituted with a knee injury at the County Ground.

Provisional squad: Guzan, Given, Lowton, Lichaj, Clark, Vlaar, Baker, Herd, Ireland, Westwood, Bannan, Delph, Holman, Bent, Agbonlahor, Benteke, Bowery, Weimann, Burke, Johnson, Williams.

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