Betis’s 1-0 win over Osasuna at the Benito Villamarin last weekend means the Andalusians are 11 points clear of third-from-bottom Real Zaragoza with five games remaining, yet Mel does not want to tempt fate until salvation is mathematically guaranteed.
“We still run the risk of getting into trouble,” he said cautiously. “We need to get to 46 points and at the moment we have 42. If we do okay at Valencia on Sunday then we should be safe, so we will keep on competing and see where it takes us.”
While the majority of Beticos would have been happy just to have stayed up this term, some believe that next season the club must push on and try to claim a place in Europe. However, Mel believes the fans need to keep their feet firmly on the floor, particularly since Betis are still in administration.
“We want to improve but we have our limitations and the people who run the club are the ones who take the lead in this project,” said Mel. “That has not been done yet and when it happens we will see. But a warning: next season’s aims will certainly define the club.”
Without going into details Mel also spoke of potential signings and more importantly if his future remains at Betis.
“I am at the club I’ve always loved and I don’t plan to leave here unless they want me to. With regard to planning, I am informed of all movements by director of football Vlada Stosic and talk to everyone at the club about what is happening. But right now we are focused on staying in La Primera.”