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Dublin: 12 °C Wednesday 17 October, 2018
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Shane Long: I'm ready to go against Estonia

West Brom striker wants to shine in absence of Kevin Doyle and possible skipper Robbie Keane.

Shane Long:
Shane Long: "We will have to see what happens".
Image: INPHO/Ryan Byrne

SHANE LONG IS gunning for Estonia.

The West Brom striker is determined to earn a starting place in Ireland’s Euro 2012 play-off games next month.

Long missed out on the action in the final qualifier against Armenia last week but with former Reading teammate Kevin Doyle now suspended, Long is hoping to impress between now and then.

“It was disappointing not to play against Armenia but it was the right result,” told the Press Association

“We now have Estonia in the play-offs and hopefully we can get to the Euros and make it a good summer next year. There are a lot of games for West Brom before that so hopefully I can stake my claim in those games.

“People say I’ve got a great chance to start with Kevin Doyle suspended and Robbie Keane injured. Kevin is missing and I would like to think I am a natural replacement for him. But I thought I may start the last game as well, and it wasn’t to be, so we will have to see what happens.

Richard Dunne, meanwhile, reckons young Irish centre half Ciaran Clark could yet make an impression at Villa Park this season.

“Ciaran just has to be patient this year,” Dunne told the Birmingham Mail. “[He] will get games and I’m certain he’ll become a regular at Villa soon enough, so he has to be patient. Maybe 10 or 15 games might just be enough for him in the learning process this season.

“Eventually he will take over and become the main man at the back. He will kick on with Ireland as well. The lads who are playing at the moment have played a lot of games and Ciaran is still at the stage where he is learning.”

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