West Brom V Stoke at The Hawthorns : Match Preview

11 May 2014 01:11
West Brom V Stoke - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.

Mel wants guarantees

West Brom boss Pepe Mel believes uncertainty over his future has already left the club behind schedule for next season's Barclays Premier League campaign.

Mel will meet with Baggies chairman Jeremy Peace next week to confirm whether or not he has a future at the club after steering them to all-but-mathematical top-flight survival.

Opinions on Mel's tenure at The Hawthorns have been split, while the experienced Spanish boss is adamant he requires reassurances if he is to remain in charge.

Mel said: "I don't know whether or not West Brom have been working on (next season) for a long time. I haven't myself and of course if I do continue we will be at a disadvantage.

"I need to know what sort of ideas they have got for West Brom in the future. I want to be in the position of fighting for the same sort of position in the league that West Brom achieved last year.

"I understand that last season was very good for West Brom and this season it was disappointing, with three head coaches, but in the end we did amazing work.

"I will have enjoyed it if it has been my last game at West Brom and if not I will plan for the future. I will look back very positively. I have learned a lot of things about how things are done differently."

Mel is anxious for his side to finish their season on a high after the miserable midweek defeat at Sunderland.

Liam Ridgewell could return after missing the last three games with a knee injury, while Morgan Amalfitano is also likely to find himself back in the starting line-up after being rested for the trip to the Stadium of Light.

But Billy Jones and Zoltan Gera are both definitely out with hamstring injuries and Steven Reid has a groin injury.

Mel added: "I don't think that we will lose 15-0 to Stoke and Norwich will beat Arsenal 3-0 - if that did happen we would obviously be down to the Championship.

"But our attention will be on the game with Stoke City and we need to win this game.

"I hope the fans have an enjoyable game and I hope to really be able to put aside the account we gave of ourselves at Sunderland."

Meanwhile, Stoke boss Mark Hughes claims there was "no risk" in signing the striker who could be public enemy number one at the Hawthorns.

Peter Odemwingie, who has made a big impression since joining Stoke in January, is preparing to return to the club for the first time since acrimoniously leaving the Baggies early this season.

The Nigeria World Cup hopeful fell out with the midlands team spectacularly last season after failing in his public attempt to force through a move to QPR.

He eventually moved to Cardiff, where he failed to fit in, but his switch to the Britannia Stadium has reaped instant rewards with the 32-year-old having struck five times for Hughes' men.

He is likely to be in the side once again as Stoke look to wrap up their most successful campaign, in Premier League terms, since winning promotion in 2008 with victory at West Brom.

Hughes said: "He was a no-risk signing for us, truth be told, because he has performed incredibly well and scored many goals at this level.

"He has come in here and performed exactly how I thought he would do.

"He has made a real impact here and hopefully he gets the chance to go to the World Cup."

Stoke captain Ryan Shawcross will return for the trip after serving a one-match ban.

Source: PA