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Ireland striker Shane Long set for Hull debut against Crystal Palace

Updated: Tuesday, 28 Jan 2014 13:10 | Comments

Shane Long: 'It was always in the back of my mind that West Brom wanted to sell up'
Shane Long: 'It was always in the back of my mind that West Brom wanted to sell up'

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Shane Long will make his Hull debut at Crystal Palace tonight, nearly five months after being won over by manager Steve Bruce.

Ireland striker Long was set to join the Tigers in a deadline day switch from West Brom on 2 September, only for the Baggies to pull the plug when their own pursuit of Romelu Lukaku fell through.

That left Long sitting with Bruce at Hull's training ground in Cottingham when both men realised the transfer was off.

But Bruce did not waste his time with Long, laying out his plans for Hull and planting a seed that came to bear when West Brom again agreed a fee of around £6.5million this month.

"It was a weird one (in September). I think there was ten hours from finding out about the deal to get it done and it got pulled at the last minute," the 27-year-old said.

"It was a strange situation to be in but these things happen in football.

"I tried to be as professional as I could be. I was a West Brom player and I think anyone there would tell you I gave my all on the pitch and trained hard every day.

"But it was hard to try and get it out of your head.

"I think it was always in the back of my mind that West Brom wanted to sell up and I was lucky that a club like Hull were interested.

"After meeting the manager (Bruce), he left a good impression on me and I wanted to play for him.

"He was just talking to me about the club, the players coming in and how I was going to be a part of it.

"When a club is agreeing to sell you, for me anyway, you want to go.

"Once the transfer window opened again, it was inevitable something was going to happen sooner rather than later and I got the deal done."

"Once the transfer window opened again, it was inevitable something was going to happen"

Long, who has shaken off an ankle complaint and has been told he will play some part against Palace, will now look forward to forging a partnership with fellow newcomer Nikica Jelavic.

The Croatia striker was brought in from Everton for a fee that could rise to £7.5million should Hull avoid relegation, taking the club's spending to £14million this month - a serious gamble that will require Premier League safety as a minimum pay-off.

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