Shane Long is determined to force his way into Giovanni Trapattoni's World Cup plans after working his way back into Republic of Ireland contention.

The 25-year-old West Brom striker was handed a rare start in Wednesday night's 1-0 friendly defeat by Greece at the Aviva Stadium after finding himself back in favour with the Italian following a misunderstanding over an injury earlier this season.

Ironically, a tight hamstring meant he only played the first 45 minutes of the game, but as he headed back to his club hoping to be fit enough to line up against Chelsea at the weekend, Long was already thinking of March's qualifiers against Sweden and Austria. Asked if he had given Trapattoni something to think about, he said: "I hope so."

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