West Bromwich Albion have had a terrible time of things this season. With a Premier League low of just five wins and a squad that has looked lost at times, Pepe Mel is doing the right things to try and freshen up the mood at the Hawthorns.
The Spanish boss has been quick to reignite the Albion career of Graham Dorrans as one of his tactics, after the midfielder was cast out under former manager Steve Clarke.
Dorrans is a hugely popular figure at Albion, and was a key figure in the side that won promotion back to the Premier League back in 2010, scoring 13 league goals that season. He knows the club inside out, and could prove a valuable asset in this seasons survival bid.
What Albion needed most when Mel came in was a reform, not necessarily in terms of recruitment but in tactical approach. The long ball strategy towards the end of Clarke’s tenure is the reason some fans feel he was given the axe. They became frustrating to watch.
So far Dorrans has only made six appearances all season, but has had a good effect on Albion’s mid-field of late. He has started the last two matches against Swansea and Hull, and no player created more chances than him in the Premier League at the weekend. He’s adding a lot.
Dorrans was heavily linked with a loan move to Nottingham Forest just last month, but Mel will be glad he kept the Scottish international and his experience on board.
Fresh, somewhat unproven faces were needed to give West Brom hope. They may have had to call on one of the more senior members of the squad to give them a boost this time around, but the signs are starting to show that it was needed.
Albion prepare to welcome Cardiff this weekend in what is set to be a game that goes a long way to determining the Premier League fate of both clubs.
Can Dorrans help West Brom survive in the Premier League this season?