Clarke has no qualms with Long not celebrating if he scores
STEVE Clarke insists Shane Long will be determined to score against Reading on Saturday (ko 3pm) - despite confirmation from the striker he will not celebrate out of respect for his former employers.
The 25-year-old striker enjoyed a six-year stay at the Madejski Stadium before joining the Baggies 13 months ago following a career-best goal tally of 21 Championship strikes for the Royals during the 2010/11 season.
And Clarke believes choosing not to celebrate, in the event that he scores, is a decision that had to be made solely by Long.
“That’s a decision for Shane and if he scores three goals and doesn’t celebrate any of them I’ll be delighted,” said Clarke.
“It’s down to the individual and I think you’ve seen a number of cases down the years where players have scored against their former clubs and not celebrated as a mark of respect.
“If Shane scores and everyone else is jumping around we’ll be happy enough.
“I don’t think his thoughts will be any different – he’s a professional.
“He knows that we have to win, he has to play, and he has to hurt the opposition whoever it is.
“You could say that when we play against Chelsea, because I have such a close association with them, that I wouldn’t want to beat them, when there’s no team I’d want to beat more.
“When you face former teams you want to show everybody how good you are and hopefully he’ll do that on Saturday.”