But striker in 'disbelief' at defeat and says Baggies must learnSHANE Long believes Albion's performance against Manchester City on Saturday shows how far they have come - and left him insisting: 'We know what we are'.
It is a message the Baggies striker was delighted to unveil to the Brummie Road End on a T-shirt given to him by kitman Pat Frost, when he scored a 67th-minute opener against the champions.
The move was inspired by recently-adopted fans' anthem 'Pride of the Midlands....We know what we are'.
And Long was disappointed Steve Clarke's men could not reward the supporters by bagging at least the point the team's efforts deserved in what turned out to be a harsh last-gasp 2-1 defeat.
“The boss has instilled real confidence in us to play against the best teams and pass the ball - and we showed that," said Long.
“We passed it out from the goalkeeper and with every chance we got we caused them all sorts of problems - and they are probably one of the best teams in Europe, never mind England.
“When we went, 1-0 up I was sure we were going to hang onto it but they showed the quality they have.
“It was a great free-kick into the box that was fairly impossible to defend for their equaliser.
“We had two or three chances in a row to make it 2-1 and got a bit of confidence from that, then all of a sudden, seven or eight seconds from our own corner, they got the winner.
“It hasn’t happened often, especially at home, and we feel like we played really well so there is a bit of disbelief at coming out and losing that game because we really took the game to them and caused them all sorts of problems.
“To lose the game 2-1 is frustrating to say the least.
“But when we look back this week we will probably take a lot of positives and we can probably go on to Newcastle and, if we do the same things, win the game."
He added: “Pat Frost, the kitman, is a big Baggies fan. I asked him for an ‘under-armour’ and he said ‘I’ve got a special one for you that might bring you good luck’.
“It said ‘we know what we are’ on and the fans sing that all the time.
“Pat is a good friend of mine so it’s nice to celebrate for him.”
The Ireland international has also urged his team-mates to learn from the Hawthorns encounter after letting a 1-0 lead slip in the final ten minutes of a game for the second time this season - September’s 1-1 draw at Villa being the other occasion.
“Romelu had two or three chances where he really tested the goalkeeper, the crowd were getting behind us, and we really felt like we could win the game,” Long added.
“That is the confidence we have in the squad at the moment.
“But at the same time we have probably got to learn from these situations.
“We probably should have won at Villa and didn’t see it out and it was the same on Saturday.
“But at least we lost in the right way, trying to win the game and taking the game to them.
“There aren’t many teams that will take points off Manchester City this season.”