SHANE LONG said he almost forgot his pre-match promise not to celebrate a goal for Hull City against his former club.
A section of the West Brom support turned their ire on former hero Long as he played a major role in Saturday's 2-0 defeat away to Hull, earning the controversial penalty which opened the scoring for City. The Tipperary man then scored another.
It would be more pertinent for the Baggies fans to ask their club's hierarchy why they took the decision to sell Long to one of their rivals in January, but Long says that West Brom remain close to his heart, though he did have to remind himself not to indulge in goal celebrations.
"It was a nice moment. I told myself that I wouldn't celebrate, but I almost forgot myself. I took a few steps and then remembered who I was playing against," said Long.
"It was nice to score and it gave us a bit of breathing space. It was a fairly even game up until the first goal, then we got the second. In the second half, we caused them problems on the counter-attack a few times and could have scored a few more.
"But the three points and a clean sheet were the main things and made it a good day at the office," added Long, who again denied accusations that he dived to win the penalty under pressure from Craig Dawson.
"He clipped me, I didn't dive, he clipped my heel. He didn't mean to do it and I thought it was a soft penalty. I got up straightaway and tried to play on, but the referee judged it to be a penalty. I'm sure the West Brom players and fans were frustrated with it, but he has clipped me and the referee did what he had to do," said Long, who still has a soft spot for his previous employers.
"My main focus is obviously on my future here now. But I hope, for West Brom's sake, that they can get on a winning run because it's a good club with some great players and good coaches," he said.
"I'll be looking out for their results from here on in and the perfect outcome would be for both teams to be in the Premier League again next season."
Hull face away days at West Ham tomorrow and Stoke City on Saturday in a week that could see Steve Bruce's side secure their top-flight status.
"Saturday was a big three points for us and it has opened up the gap a little bit more," said Long, who should be fit to play tomorrow despite sustaining a knee injury at West Brom.
"Most results went for us and we can go to West Ham on Wednesday on a high. This is a big week with two tough away games and I'm sure West Ham will be looking for the three points at home.
"We're going to have to be on form to get something from these games, but we're definitely good enough to go and get a couple of results and we could be a long way towards being safe by next Saturday."