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Long buzzing in training says coach

PUBLISHED

07:00 25th September 2013

Striker impressing ahead of cup clash with Arsenal as he looks to move on

KEVIN Keen has revealed Shane Long has been hitting all the right notes in training as he looks to move on after a dramatic transfer deadline day.

The Republic of Ireland striker returned to the practice pitch for the first time on Sunday after missing the last two games due to the knee injury he picked up on international duty.

And he could start against Arsenal in tonight's Capital One Cup third-round clash at The Hawthorns (ko 8pm).

"I think Steve has made it clear Shane’s a massive part of this club," said Keen at the Baggies' pre-match press conference.

“We’re delighted he’s still here and still part of West Bromwich Albion.

“I’m sure he will score goals this season and play a massive part in us progressing.

“Having interviewed Shane numerous times you’ll know what sort of person Shane is, and the type of character he is.

“He’s come in and got on with his work.

“If anything, there has been a positive reaction in his training – it’s been at a really high level.

“He’s a top lad and is very much part of Steve’s thinking going forward.

“I don’t think there will be any problem with Shane.

“I think he’s raring to go to be honest to show people he really wants to score some goals."

Three top-flight clubs - Villa, Everton and Cardiff - exited the cup last night, and, with Albion's game one of two all-Barclays Premier League fixtures tonight, the competition could open up.

But Keen is refusing to look any further than the Baggies' tie with the Gunners.

“Our main focus is on beating Arsenal, which is a big enough thing to think about and organise," he added.

“I wasn’t overly aware of all the other combinations.

“Our thoughts have just been on Arsenal, which is a big ask.

“But we’re playing at home in front of our fans and I think it’s a fantastic game.

"We’ve got a big chance."

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