And Long hopes to better last season's eighth-placed finish
SHANE Long has refused to set himself a goal target for the forthcoming Barclays Premier League campaign.
The 26-year-old striker, who netted in Albion’s 6-0 victory over Cork City on Tuesday, scored on 11 occasions for the Baggies in all competitions last term.
And the Ireland international insists he has more than goals to offer Steve Clarke’s side.
“I never set a target,” said Long.
“I just try to play one week at a time.
“I look at the next game and try to do well.
“Then I just try to kick on and get a run going.
“I don’t mind how many goals I score.
“The goals will look after themselves.
“I think the manager appreciates that I do a good job for the team.
“I don’t put that much pressure on myself but at the same time I would love to get 40.”
Albion finished eighth in the Barclays Premier League last season - with their highest top-flight points total for over 30 years.
Long is adamant the Baggies will be doing their upmost to further improve this term – beginning with the visit of Southampton to The Hawthorns a week on Saturday (ko 3pm).
“It’s going to be hard to top last season but that’s got to be our aim,” added Long.
“Coming up to the last month of last season we had a good chance of making Europe and we faded away a bit.
“We’ve got the players and it would be nice to strengthen it a little bit more.
“I know the manager is looking to do that and if he can I’m sure we will be very competitive this season.
“With the way pre-season has gone, we’re feeling good.
“We’re playing good football and working well for each other.
“We’ve got Southampton at home in the first game and hopefully we can get off to a good start.”
Steve Clarke’s outfit host Serie A side Bologna in their final pre-season friendly on Saturday (ko 3pm). For ticket details click here.