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Premier League: Steven Reid says West Brom are benefiting from Pepe Mel approach

Last Updated: 13/04/14 1:13pm

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Steven Reid talks to Weekend Warm-Up about West Brom's season and the threat of relegation.

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West Brom defender Steven Reid believes the team are starting to see the benefits of Pepe Mel's tactical approach.

Former Real Betis boss Mel took over at The Hawthorns in January following the sacking of Steve Clarke with the club 14th in the Premier League but just four points above the relegation zone.

The Spaniard struggled initially, failing to win any of his first eight games as the club slipped to 17th and only out of the bottom three on goal difference.

This run included a 4-3 defeat at Midlands rivals Aston Villa, during which Mel's preferred high-tempo pressing game was ruthlessly exposed, something that led senior players to express their concerns to the manager.

However, the Baggies have picked up seven points from their last four games and Reid feels this is an indication that the team is adapting to Mel's philosophy.

"We've got it right on a few occasions but when we've not got it right we've been found out a little bit," admitted Reid to Sky Sports. "At Villa it was disappointing defensively and myself and a few others can take that on the chin.

"Now we are starting to get it right more often. It does take time to adapt, especially when a manager comes in from abroad and is still learning the language."

Reid also believes that the meeting between some of the club's senior players and the manager, whilst not unusual, was also very beneficial.

"We did have a sit down with the manager, probably about midway through when we were having a tricky run but that has been the norm with managers I have had in the last few years.

"We aired some thoughts but now we are starting to see the benefits of that. Over the last few months the team have been performing well."

With the club still only five points from safety with six games to play, Reid is adamant that none of the members of the West Brom squad, including those who may depart the club this summer, want a relegation on their CV.

"When you sit down and talk with the lads, whether it is loan players going back to their clubs or players out of contract or potentially retiring, relegation won't do you any favours no matter what your agenda is," he added.

"If you have a relegation it puts you in a weaker position. There is not time to relax after Norwich (who West Brom beat 1-0 last weekend). You keep that idea in your head and hopefully it will keep you in the league."

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West Bromwich Albion

West Brom's 3-0 defeat to Chelsea in 2008