West Bromwich Albion striker Shane Long insists his team have the firepower to be surprise packets in the English Premier League this season.
The 25-year-old replaced Romelu Lukaku in the starting line-up for Sunday’s draw against Aston Villa following the mid-week League Cup defeat to Liverpool.
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 West Brom 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 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 praised Clarke for the way the manager had continued the good work of former West Brom boss Roy Hodgson.
“He has instilled a bit of confidence and you can see that in the way we get the ball down and pass it,” he said.
“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.”