West Brom manager Steve Clarke has moved to praise the worth of Shane Long, after the Ireland international put in a man of the match performance against Chelsea on Saturday November 17.
The former Reading forward opened the scoring for the Baggies, before later setting up the winning goal for strike partner Peter Odemwingie to ensure a 2-1 victory over Chelsea at the Hawthorns and the magnitude of Long's contribution took on increased resonance when it emerged that the player had recently suffered a family bereavement.
"I ran out of words to describe him a number of weeks ago," Clarke told reporters after the victory. "Shane produced another fantastic performance in what has been a difficult week for him."
Long's partner in attack Peter Odemwingie also praised the mental strength of the 25-year-old, saying that without the Irishman, 'the result could have been different'.
"He deserves a lot of respect as he came to help us when we needed him even in this situation and he deserved his man of the match," Odemwingie told the club's official website.
"We must say thank you to him for staying strong because we needed him today and without him the result could have been different, so well done to him," he added.