Wednesday 21 February 2018

Shane Long in dark over future as he urges Baggies to name new boss

Shane Long of West Bromwich Albion celebrates
Shane Long of West Bromwich Albion celebrates
Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

Shane Long wants clarity from West Brom on their managerial intentions but his own future remains unclear.

The Tipperary native is likely to be the subject of a renewed bid from Hull City this month after their August move collapsed and a plethora of Premier League clubs are monitoring his situation, while Championship promotion chasers Nottingham Forest are also willing to pay him more than £30,000 a week to lure him down the road.

Long was disappointed when Steve Clarke was shown the door by West Brom and feels that the club need to move quickly on a replacement so the players know where they stand, although he has paid tribute to caretaker boss Keith Downing and his assistant Dean Kiely, the former Ireland goalkeeper.

"Keith and Dean have done a terrific job," said Long. "They got six points from the four games and they've done very well, but yes we'd like a bit of clarity.

"It's a new lease of life because people want to impress him but the lads are playing well for Keith and that's important too, so if he stays a bit longer, that's good too."

The next Hawthorns boss will have to make a quick decision on Long, who effectively has 18 months left on his contract. His deal expires in the summer but West Brom have a 12-month option which they are likely to take up in order to avoid losing the player for nothing.

Long is happy in the area, but is understood to be bemused by developments at the club and gave local press a non-committal answer on whether he expects to be still there on February 1.

"Well, yes... yes. No offers have gone in, no offers have been accepted and I know as much as anyone else," he said.

"There have been no further talks and there are no further offers.

"I'm contracted until the end of this season and then if West Brom want to take up the option after that then I'll have another season.

"I'll play as long as my contract is here if West Brom still want me.

"I train every day and try to get my name on the team sheet on Saturday. The rest will take care of itself. At the moment I'm a West Brom player and that's all I'm concentrating on."

Downing has indicated that he would not allow Long to leave under his watch, but he has also stressed that he has no interest in the manager's job on a permanent basis, a point of view which surprises the Irish striker.

"We're surprised Keith doesn't want it because he's been at the club a long time and he's good enough," said the 26-year-old.

"He knows how the club runs and I'd like to think he was in with a shout. If he doesn't want to be selected I hope he stays as a coach."

Irish Independent

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