MADRID (Reuters) - Struggling Deportivo La Coruna unveiled former Real Betis and West Bromwich Albion coach Pepe Mel as their new manager on Tuesday until the end of the season in a bid to steer clear of the La Liga relegation zone after a winless start to 2017.
La Liga winners in 2000 and Champions League semi-finalists in 2004, Deportivo are battling against a third relegation in seven years after losing four games in a row which led to Gaizka Garitano being sacked after Saturday’s 4-0 thrashing at the hands of fellow strugglers Leganes.
Deportivo are 17th in the standings, two points above Sporting Gijon who occupy the final spot in the relegation zone, although the Galicians have a game in hand. Mel is the seventh manager they have appointed in six years.
A journeyman striker and crime fiction author, Mel has been a coach since 1998, including two spells with Real Betis as well as a brief stint in the Premier League with West Bromwich Albion in 2014, who he led to safety before being sacked.
Reporting by Richard Martin; Editing by Alison Williams