Club News

Clarke: Long is important to us

Baggies boss says striker has 'big contribution' to make

STEVE Clarke insists Shane Long still has a ‘big contribution’ to make for Albion this season following the transfer deadline-day developments surrounding the striker.

The Republic of Ireland international returned to Baggies’ Great Barr training base yesterday after World Cup qualifying duty with his country.

And, after starting the opening three Barclays Premier League games of the campaign, will be hoping to play a part at Fulham on Saturday (ko 3pm).

“Shane Long is a very, very important member of our squad,” said Clarke.

“I’ve always said that since I came in.

“I'm delighted he's here.

“I spoke to him on deadline day but not since because he's been with his country and I have to be respectful to them.

“He has had to concentrate on what he was doing with Ireland.

“We will sit down to have a chat and we’ll go forward from there.

“Shane’s got a big contribution to make this season.”