December 8 2013 Latest news:
Saturday, December 22, 2012
West Brom dangerman Shane Long knows first hand the danger posed by Wes Hoolahan, albeit from a fleeting glimpse during training with the Republic of Ireland.
Now the 25-year-old is keen for his Baggies team-mates not to take Norwich City’s influential forward lightly.
“I’ve only seen Wes in training, but he never gives the ball away,” said Long. “He’s really nippy on the ball and is good with the ball at his feet and dribbling.
“He likes to set other people up to score so he’s obviously going to be a threat at the weekend.
“He likes to play in behind the striker, like Mozza (James Morrison) does for us. He’s a handful – but I’ll let the defenders worry about him.”
From a flying start to the season and hitting the heights of third in the Premier League as recently as a month ago, West Brom have had a tougher time of it since – with the goalless draw at home to West Ham on Sunday Albion’s first point in four games. They have also gone three and a half matches without a goal. But Long believes the Baggies’ form is still good, despite the results.
“We didn’t turn up at Swansea and we kind of looked at it as if we needed to put it behind us and move on,” added Long. “Stoke was a nothing game and they did the same thing they did to us last season by scoring a late winner – it was always going to be a one-goal game. And at Arsenal we were hard done by. You can’t keep looking for excuses and at the weekend I always felt like we were going to win – it just didn’t happen.
“We’re meeting a team now that is in great form in Norwich. It’s going to be a tough test for us but if we get a win there and get into Christmas with four points from two games it will be a good return. On paper people look at West Brom-Norwich and say West Brom win. But the form Norwich have been in, they’ve won five on the bounce at home and they’ve done well away as well.
“They play good football under Chris Hughton and you can see they gel well together. It’s going to be tough for us but I know, if we turn up on the day, we can get three points.”
Chris Hughton admitted Norwich’s soft centre again contributed to their downfall as Luis Suarez inspired Liverpool to a 5-1 Premier League win on Wednesday night at Anfield.