And striker says result needs to be put into context
SHANE Long believes his first-half miss helped fire him on to score Albion’s only goal in their 1-1 draw at Villa Park.
The 25-year-old striker could have put the Baggies ahead in the sixth minute but headed wide from James Morrison’s assist.
But the Ireland international grabbed his fourth goal of the season in the 51st minute as Steve Clarke’s men extended their unbeaten record in West Midlands derbies to five games.
And Long insists his frustration at failing to put Albion ahead enhanced his desire to net against the Claret and Blues.
“In the first half I didn’t put away that header and I’m pretty confident with my head in the box so I was eager to put things right,” said Long.
“Luckily Mozza put a really good ball in during the second half and I managed to put it away.
“I felt like I’d been playing well and it’s always a bit of a thing of mine to try and keep putting in performances because, if you do, then the goals will look after themselves.
“I’m a little disappointed but coming to Villa Park is never easy so it shows how far we’ve come as a team that we’re leaving here disappointed.
“We're very confident on the ball, we control the game in midfield and we’re relatively solid at the back and we could have kept a clean sheet today."
He added: “We need to just keep putting in the performances and the table will look after itself.
“The defence has been brilliant all season and it all adds up.
“We could have gone third today so it’s a good start to the season.
“We’ve performed well against some of the best teams in the Premier League - Tottenham and Liverpool - and we’ve come out on top in most of the games so it’s no coincidence that we are where we are in the table.
“We’re disappointed we haven’t won here and gone third but I guess we should be happy with a 1-1 draw.
“We’ll look ahead straight away to QPR when we’ll try and get another three points.”