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Mel weighs up transfer activity after Anelka injury

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West Bromwich Albion's Nicolas Anelka. Picture credit: David Davies/PA Wire

West Bromwich Albion's Nicolas Anelka. Picture credit: David Davies/PA Wire

West Bromwich Albion's Nicolas Anelka. Picture credit: David Davies/PA Wire

WEST BROM boss Pepe Mel revealed he may need to move into the transfer market this week to bring in cover for Nicolas Anelka.

The controversial striker looks certain to miss the Baggies' home clash with Liverpool on Sunday after being forced off early in his side's remarkable 4-3 loss at Aston Villa with a badly gashed knee.

Albion are unsure how long the veteran forward may be out but they are also aware he also faces a possible ban.

Anelka was charged by the Football Association last week after performing the 'quenelle' gesture in December and he faces a disciplinary hearing in the coming weeks.

Mel said: "One result doesn't change the opinion about the squad but if we have the chance to sign a player during the transfer window I believe we should do.

"We must try to work to solve the problem that the injury or the ban to Anelka would cause. He has had a lot of stitches to his knee. We don't know (how serious it is). Tomorrow we will know more."

Mel was frustrated that his side failed to win the keenly-contested derby after racing into a 2-0 lead inside nine minutes through Chris Brunt and a Fabian Delph own goal.

Villa replied quickly through Andreas Weimann, Leandro Bacuna and Delph and then won it with a second-half Christian Benteke penalty after Youssouf Mulumbu equalised.

Asked if his side threw the game away, Mel said: "Yes, of course.

"The start of the game was good for us. It is incredible to score three goals away and get no points."

Recently-appointed Mel, still awaiting his first win, said: "I think we need to improve on mistakes. For example the first goal was a mistake.

"But I believe our problem in this game was Benteke and not so much our defence."

Villa manager Paul Lambert thought his side showed a new level of maturity as they recovered to claim only their third home win of the season in the Premier League.

He said: "To be 2-0 down in any game after eight minutes or whatever is tough but in a derby game it doubles, because of the importance to the crowd. To turn it around the way we did was fantastic."


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