Shane Long has no hard feelings towards Lukaku over diminished West Brom role

The Baggies striker admitted it was hard to dislodge the on-loan hitman, and has expressed his desire to remain at the Hawthorns amid growing speculation linking him with a move
West Brom striker Shane Long insists he has no hard feelings towards on-loan Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku, and hopes to stay at the Hawthorns this summer.

The 26-year-old has been linked with a move away from the Baggies and is set to have talks with manager Steve Clarke over his future later this summer after failing to nail down a regular starting berth.

The Republic of Ireland international had to compete with Lukaku, who scored 17 league goals, for game time last season, but with the Belgian set to return to his parent club, Long could be handed more opportunities next term.

"I'm very happy there. The new manager has come in this year and he has really built a team that's very competitive in the Premier League," Long told Sky Sports News.

"There are a few lads up in the air about contracts and it will be interesting to see what happens over the summer. I fully intend to stay, I do like it there, but we will talk, probably in pre-season, about contract situations and see what happens.

"I have a year and an option, so probably two. I have still got two years left at West Brom, and that's what I am focusing on at the moment. I was doing well during a lot of season and the manager said to me at the end of the season he was very happy with how I had done."

Long says he understands Clarke's logic behind the rotation of his strikers, saying it is up to the players to earn the right to start every match for the Baggies from now on.

"It was just with the build-up of games, he chose to rest me for one game and Romelu came in and scored a hat-trick, and it's hard to drop him again", he continued.

"We understood our roles. We shared the load up front. More than likely, we went with one striker and it was either me or him.

"Towards the end of season, he started more and he scored a lot of goals. He's a fine player, so I just bided my time and when I did get my chance, I made sure I took it.

"A few times, I had scored one or two on the bounce and been rested for the third game, and that little flow of games could help over the season. I am still learning, I am still only 26. It's one of my best returns in the Premier League, last year, so hopefully I can build on that again this year."