West Brom set to appoint Pepe Melby Jack Kitson / 27 December 2013, 12:27Tweet
West Brom have taken a gigantic step closer to appointing a new manager following a successful interview with Spanish coach Pepe Mel. Last week the 50-year-old emerged as the hot favourite to succeed Steve Clarke at the Hawthorns and will now reportedly put pen to paper and sign an 18-month contract, although there are still believed to be two other candidates in the mix.
Mel has previously managed a multitude of clubs in his homeland, including Coslada, Merida, Murcia, Tenerife, Getafe, Alaves, Poli Ejdo, Rayo Vallecano, and most recently Real Betis. Mangerial highlights include winning promotion with both Vallecano and Betis although he lost his job with the latter back at the start of December.
The Baggies are in desperate need of stability in the dugout following a torrid run of form during which they have failed to win any of their last eight games (lost four, drawn four), which leaves them down in 15th and just one point above the relegation zone. However, since sacking Clarke earlier in the month caretaker boss Keith Downing has guided Albion to back-to-back draws, including a respectable point away to Spurs on Boxing Day.
If, as expected, Mel is appointed his first fixture is unlikely to be West Ham away on Saturday, with Downing expected to lead the side at Upton Park. Newcastle at home on New Year’s Day is a more likely debut game in the dugout, followed by Crystal Palace at home three days later.