Striker out to do fans proud

10 February 2012 02:17
Long ready for Black Country derby

Shane Long insists Albion players are ready to make their fans proud after this Sunday’s Black Country derby.

The striker realises the importance of the fixture to the fans after helping Albion earn the bragging rights earlier in the season.

Long, who returned to training on Wednesday ahead of the clash, is now hoping for a repeat performance to send the blue and white half of the Black Country home happy.

"I remember last time we played them it was massive," said the Republic of Ireland striker.

"Every West Brom fan you meet, it's all that goes through their heads.

"Even after we'd just beaten them they were already looking forward to the return at Wolves.

"We know it's massive for them.

"It's a big derby game, the bragging rights are massive to the fans, and hopefully we can do them proud on the pitch.”

A victory over Albion’s rivals would move the Baggies eight points clear of Wolves. Long is hoping to earn three points and extend the gap between relegation zone, especially with difficult games on the horizon.

“A loss might suck us back into somewhere we don't want to be,” he said.

"We need three points on Sunday and after that we've got Sunderland at home.

"Then we've got a lot of big games against the likes of Manchester United and Chelsea - the list goes on.

"So, the next two games are massive for us.

"If they get the three points they'll be two points behind us and we'll be sucked back into it.

"But if we get three points we could be nine points clear of the drop zone.

"It's a big difference, especially when you can look and see yourself so far from trouble.

"Hopefully we can get the win, get in the gaffer's good books and get three or four days off next week!"

Would you start Shane Long on Sunday against Wolves? Have your say here at WBA-MAD's fans' forum at Baggies Banter.