Long: West Brom have firepower to upset the Premier League odds

The Irish forward scored his fourth goal of the season in the 1-1 draw against Aston Villa, and believes the Baggies forward options can fire them up the table
Shane Long insists that West Brom have the firepower to become the Premier League's surprise package this season.

The 25-year-old replaced Romelu Lukaku in the starting line-up for Sunday's draw with Aston Villa following the midweek League Cup defeat to Liverpool, and Long staked a claim for a regular starting berth with a strong performance capped by his fourth goal of the season.

The former Reading man received a standing ovation from the Baggies faithful when replaced by Lukaku, and believes that along with Peter Odemwingie, Marc-Antoine Fortune and the Belgian forward, manager Steve Clarke has a wealth of striking options at his disposal.

Long said: "We have plenty of attacking options this season and you know that whoever starts has an able replacement to come on.

"The gaffer [Steve Clarke] said that he will share the load. It seems that me and Romelu are alternating the scoring at the minute and that is working well.

"Whoever comes off the bench is a real threat. It means you can go full pelt for 70 minutes.

"Don't forget there is also Peter Odemwingie and Marc-Antoine Fortune who weren't involved today."

Long also praised Baggies' new boss Steve Clarke for the way he has continued the good work of former boss Roy Hodgson.

Long added: "He has instilled a bit of confidence and you can see that in the way we get the ball down and pass it.

"What you see on the pitch is what  we are doing in training, day in and day out.

"A lot of the success is down to the shape and the two rocks at centre-half [Jonas Olsson and Gareth McAuley] and one of the best goalkeepers [Ben Foster] in the Premier League."