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Shane: No room for complacency

25 August 2012

And Long is impressed by Clarke’s debut

SHANE Long is hoping he has done enough to keep his place in Steve Clarke’s starting XI for today’s trip to Tottenham (ko 3pm).

The 25-year-old striker earned the Baggies two penalties and tormented the Liverpool defence in last weekend’s 3-0 win before making way for Romelu Lukaku in the 68th minute.

And the Ireland international hopes the quality of strikers at Clarke’s disposal will help bring out the best performances of his Baggies career.

“I felt like Mozza and I linked up really well but we’ve got a lot of competition for places,” said Long.

“The head coach has a lot of options upfront and in midfield.

“If I do take my foot off the pedal someone will be ready to take my place and it’s important that I don’t do that.

“The boss seemed happy with me when I came off last week and other than the penalty miss I think he thought I had a good game.”

He added: “It’s obviously nice to get three points in the first game of the season, especially against opposition such as Liverpool.

“But you look to last year and I think Wolves were top of the table after three games and Bolton won their first game 4-0 and you can see what happened to them.

“It can easily turnaround but we’ve got to be confident in our ability and we know that we can match any team in this league on our day.”

And Long praised his new head coach following his first game in charge at The Hawthorns.

“He was brilliant,” said the 25-year-old hitman.

“There were times during the first half where Liverpool were maybe getting on top.

“We’ve worked on the system for over a month and we stuck with that against Liverpool even when they were getting plenty of the ball.

“He’s adapted us to play that way and as you can see from last Saturday it works.

“Even before the game he had a really good chat with the players and we were ready to go, if we weren’t already.

“I think he has taken to management very naturally.”

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