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Jerome: Long is a cereal offender

JEROME Thomas has revealed the secret behind West Brom striker Shane Long's never-ending energy - a pre-match bowl of Coco Pops.

The Baggies winger revealed that fit again Long brings his own packet of the cereal to games and tucks into a bowl before kick-off.

It certainly appears to be having the desired effect, with Long netting his fourth goal in 10 games against Bolton on Saturday since his summer move from Reading.

That marked his comeback after a month out of action with a knee injury which caused him to miss the Republic of Ireland's Euro 2012 play-off with Estonia.

Albion winger Thomas said: "His hold-up play is phenomenal and he has got incredible energy. I think it is down to the Coco Pops.

"He won't play a game before eating Coco Pops beforehand. That is where he gets the energy from.

"He brings his own box of cereal to the games. That is his ritual before every game but it seems to do the trick.

"We have missed Shane and it was also hard for him missing out on the play-offs with Ireland.

"It is frustrating to be out injured for any player. Shane's work-rate for the team goes unnoticed at times but he has been a big miss."

Thomas, who scored Albion's first goal against Bolton, believes Roy Hodgson's side have enough quality not to be involved in a relegation battle.

He said: "I think the quality we have, the players we have, means we can always aim higher than just avoiding relegation.

"I think we are showing that in our performances."