'I surprised myself,' admits West Bromich Albion striker Shane Long

The Baggies frontman notched two superbly taken goals against Aston Villa drawing praise from his manager and he admitted that he was surprised by his own composure
Shane Long has admitted that he surprised himself after scoring two deftly executed goals in West Bromich Albion's 2-2 draw against Aston Villa on Monday.

After the game the Republic of Ireland international said that he hoped to continue his form and paid tribute to West Brom coach Keith Downing, who takes extra training sessions with the striker in which he practices finishing techniques.

"Keith Downing takes me out after training every day for finishing practice," Long told the club's official wesbite.

"I like running in behind defenders and sometimes the ball comes over your shoulder like that. Nine times out of 10 that touch won't come off like that for me. I surprised myself but it's nice to get it down, get it settled, and finish it left footed.

He continued: "Hopefully I can keep playing well from now until the end of the season. You get into those positions so you need to make sure you can capitalise on them."

Baggies boss Steve Clarke praised the 26-year-old for his contribution and reiterated his desire to keep the Tipperary native at the Hawthorns, but admitted that it was "not [his] department."

"I thought his first finish especially was good," he said after the game. "You just think of that skill of bringing the ball down over your shoulder, which is really difficult, and shifting it onto his weaker left foot, which by the way he hit it you wouldn't know was his weaker foot.

"The second finish showed good anticipation to read the poor pass across the back and a good finish. A good night for Shane, unfortunately we couldn't get the three points."

He added: "I've said all along Shane would have a big part to play for us this season and he's proving that on the pitch, and that's all he can do.

"I'm sure the club will sit down sometime in the future and sort his contract out. It's not my department, as I've said many times."