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Pepe Mel: "You always have to say yes when Deportivo call"

The incoming Depor coach, who has signed to the end of the season with the option of another if he keeps the club up, says he turned down other offers.

Pepe Mel, en su presentación con el Depor.
Jesus Sancho (Sanchofoto)

Pepe Mel was unveiled as the new coach of Deportivo on Tuesday morning, replacing Gaizka Garitano after a run of results that has left the storied club in 17th place and firmly in the relegation mire. Last weekend’s 4-0 drubbing at the hands of Leganés, who started the day below Depor in the standings, was the death knell for Garitano’s reign and Mel, a seasoned campaigner, has been brought in on a short-term contract with the option of another year if he keeps the club in the top flight.

"It's very difficult to say no to Depor"

It was a simple process,” said Mel at his presentation. “Richard [sporting director Barral] asked me if I wanted to come and I said ‘yes, of course.’ It’s very difficult to say no to Depor. We have turned down other things, but you always have to say yes to Depor.”

Mel took charge of the team immediately upon his arrival with Depor in action against Atlético at Riazor on Thursday night.

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"The players have to believe in themselves"

“I have come to help out, to transmit my enthusiasm and to give the players the confidence they need. They are good players. Depor is a big club but it also has a good team. They have to believe in themselves. If you put this squad in front of any Spanish coach and ask him if he wants to coach them, 100 percent of them will say yes.”

On what he plans to overhaul at the club in the battle for Primera survival, Mel responded: “The style of play is to make the players understand that they are good. They need to look to their sides and see that their teammates are good. Depor need to win games and I’m going to work with what I see. I’ll be talking to the doctors to see what shape they’re in physically, and I’ll take care of the mental side of things.”



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