Shane Long insists he will not let the speculation surrounding his future at the Hawthorns derail West Bromwich Albion’s excellent start to the Premier League season under new head coach Steve Clarke.
Rumours linking Albion’s leading scorer with a move to Liverpool in recent weeks have coincided with Albion losing three successive league games in the top flight for the first time in almost a year.
Clarke has been forced to deny suggestions that the Republic of Ireland international could leave the club in the January transfer window and Long has backed up his boss by insisting he is happy at the Hawthorns and more interested in ending Albion’s losing run, than talk about his own future.
He said: "I'm just concentrating on my football, I'm enjoying playing up front, I love my job. It's very enjoyable at the moment and I'll let the rumours take care of themselves."
Albion are still in sixth place in the table and only three points adrift of third-placed Chelsea, despite the losses at Swansea and Arsenal and the 1-0 home defeat against Stoke, which was sandwiched in between.
"We don’t dwell on it too much. The only bad performance we really put in was the first half against Swansea. We will learn from our mistakes but we’re confident we can get back winning pretty soon,” Long said.
"We’ve still got that confidence in us and hopefully we will get that break, a little rub of the green, so we can go into the game against West Ham and maybe get that winning feeling back. We’re still fairly comfortable in the league but we want to be looking at the teams above us and trying to hang onto them rather than looking down.
"West Ham are doing pretty well this season and they’re going to give their all, but hopefully we can keep them quiet on the day and cause them problems. You can’t change what’s happened before and we will train hard this week, the gaffer will have us well prepared for West Ham at home, and we will forget about the last three results.
"We feel like we’re playing well, we’re confident on the ball, and once we get that rub of the green results will start going our way and it will all be forgotten about."