STEVE Clarke believes Shane Long is beginning to ‘look like his old self again’ following his 15-minute cameo in Saturday’s goalless draw at Stoke.
The Baggies boss is also delighted to see the Ireland international injury-free and impressing in training.
And, ahead of Saturday’s trip to Liverpool (ko 3pm), he is confident he will rediscover the form that saw him finish as the club’s eight-goal second top scorer in the Barclays Premier League last term.
“I read what Shane said and I thought it made a lot of sense,” said Clarke.
“He seems happy enough here and, after an injury-interrupted start to the season, he needs a settled spell without injury, working in training all the time.
“And he needs to get out on the pitch and start producing the form he showed last season when he was a big player for the club.
“I’m convinced he will be a big player for the club in the future.
“He’s been training well in the last few sessions.
“He came into the game against Arsenal and was really good, made a big impact, and should have had a penalty in the last minute – another penalty we didn't get.
“And I thought he came into the game at the weekend and showed a good appetite, and got in a good position.
“Sess had a dribble at the end and if he had whipped the ball to the near post Shane was standing in a good position.
“He gets in good positions in the box and I’m pleased with his progress.
"I think he’s starting to look a bit like his old self again.”