sport

Long: West Brom have depth

Shane Long says West Brom's new manager will not have to bring in many reinforcements during the January transfer window.

Steve Clarke, who lost his job as Albion head coach last month, brought a number of new players in over the summer and Republic of Ireland forward Long is confident the club can keep above the relegation zone with the current squad.

Long thinks the Baggies are "covered everywhere" at the moment, with enough strength in depth for them to push from their current position of 14th in the Premier League up into the top half.

The 26-year-old had looked set to leave West Brom at the end of the summer window and join Hull City but Romelu Lukaku joined Everton instead of returning to The Hawthorns.

"We don't need freshening up," the Irishman told the Birmingham Mail with Keith Downing still at the helm in a caretaker position.

"We have near enough 25 players. We have six or seven options up front. We're covered everywhere. Steve Clarke did well, he brought in good options.

"I think we're good enough to get into that top half of the table - hopefully get some points over the next games and get back up there.

"We're optimistic of staying up. We're definitely good enough. We have a big squad, with lots of competition for places.

"We've had a good Christmas period. We have got to take confidence from that."

The Baggies backed up successive draws against Hull, Tottenham and West Ham with a 1-0 victory over Newcastle on New Year's Day before falling 2-0 at home to Crystal Palace in the cup.

Long has not scored since his brace against local rivals Aston Villa in November but is confident he and the team can bring something back from Southampton on Saturday.

He added: "The confidence is back.

"Football is about picking up points. We'll train hard going into the Southampton game. A lot of the lads had five games in 15 days.

"A bit of a rest this week going into that game will hopefully do them good. They're a good side and they play good football.

"We really went for it and caused them all sorts of problems when we won 3-0 there last season.

"We can take confidence from that. Hopefully we can come away with another win. I think we will cause them problems.

"We have to turn up on the day, create more clear cut chances, and put them away."