Shane Long, a modern striker for modern football.

That's certainly the view of West Bromwich Albion legend Cyrille Regis, who has been impressed with the progress of the club's latest No.9.

Long's performance against Chelsea impressed all. Scorer of one goal, provider of another, the striker's display was even better given it was against the backdrop of personal trauma.

After the game he went straight to the airport to attend his grandmother's funeral.

There were no post-match celebrations - some of his team-mates questioned why he was so down in the dressing room after the game, unaware of his turmoil - just a few brief handshakes with club personnel and media as he left the stadium.

Long's progress has been impressive this season, more so when you consider he has been battling a hamstring problem.

Regis, who became a Hawthorns hero between 1977 and '84, was the undisputed No.9 during his time at the club.

Either side of him were the likes of Ronnie Allen, Jeff Astle and then, more recently, Bob Taylor. All No.9s. All heroes.

Long, according to Regis, is wearing the shirt well.

"He's playing very well - I like him," said Regis.

"The one thing you'd say about Shane Long is that he leads the line very well.

"You know what you're going to get out of him as well, which is so important for any coach or manager.

"He's very consistent - you get hard work, the defence will have to work hard and you always have an 'out' ball with him.

"You can pass the ball over 30 yards and he'll make it count by being there for it and working for it.

"The classic one was when he crossed for Peter Odemwingie to make the second goal against Chelsea.

"You have that with Shane. He's good in the air, strong and has a fantastic attitude. When you play one up front you need that.

"He's a modern footballer. Teams play 4-2-3-1 or 4-3-3 or other such variations these days.

"Players have to be more flexible. They will have to play wide left, wide right, playing off a striker. When I played you were a centre forward in a 4-4-2."

Does Long have what it takes to become Albion's next No.9 'legend'?

Regis answered: "It will take time. That's natural. He's been here a year. I was there seven years,

"Bob was there for about eight or nine years. Jeff Astle was there for a long time.

"These are different times.

"But if he can keep it going and score 10-15 goals every year over four or five years - then yes, for sure he will. I hope he can do it."