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Baggies' Long 'frustrated' by Ireland bench role

SHANE Long has admitted that he is frustrated at failing to secure a place in Giovanni Trapattoni's starting XI.

Despite stellar performances at club level, Trap opted to use Jonathan Walters as a lone striker against Germany and then partnered the Stoke frontman with Robbie Keane in the 4-1 victory over the Faroes.

"It was frustrating because I feel like I'm playing well but there is competition there with Robbie (Keane) scoring over 50 goals for the country and Jon Walters doing well for Stoke," he said.

"I am just biding my time. I know I have to perform really well at club level to get my name in a starting position."

Long was on the mark again on Saturday, scoring the 67th-minute opener against champions Manchester City and forcing James Milner to take him down in the incident that saw the England midfielder red-carded.

During his celebrations the Baggies striker was delighted to unveil a T-shirt given to him by kitman Pat Frost.

The move was inspired by recently-adopted fans' anthem 'Pride of the Midlands...We know what we are'.

Long 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 it and the fans sing that all the time.

"Pat is a good friend of mine so it's nice to celebrate for him."

Long has told his Baggies team-mates that they must learn to close out games after falling to a late brace from Edin Dzeko.

"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."

Meanwhile, Robbie Keane scored his 12th goal in 15 games for LA Galaxy as they drew 2-2 with the San Jose Earthquakes.

Galaxy are virtually assured of finishing fourth in the Western Conference, and thus having to play an extra post-season match.