Goalkeeper Ben Foster today hit out at West Brom for selling Shane Long as he insisted his former team-mate is no cheat.
The Baggies No.1 defended Ireland striker Long after he was accused of diving to win new club Hull a penalty against his former employers on Saturday.
And Foster lifted the lid on the anger of Albion’s players over the £7m January sale of Long, who netted Hull’s second goal in their 2-0 victory at the KC Stadium.
“We had him and sometimes I think ‘why did we let him go?’ to be honest,” said Foster.
“It’s not even hindsight. He was one of our best players from the last couple of years.
“There would have been a lot of takers for Shane and it’s disappointing that he’s no longer here. But we can’t look at that or blame that."
Albion sold Long for a fee that could rise to £7m in a controversial January deal that was criticised by many fans.
The Ireland international had just six months remaining on his contract and had rejected two offers of a new deal, although the Baggies had an option to extend his existing deal for another season.
Foster said: “You’ve also got to look at the six months he would have given you. He would have given you six months of exactly what he does – hard work, 110 per cent.
“If you had asked the players, we would have liked to have seen him stay.
“It’s a business at the end of the day, so it’s out of our hands.”
Long angered Baggies fans when he tumbled on 31 minutes to win his side a penalty despite replays suggesting no contact from defender Craig Dawson.
But Foster insisted: “I don’t think it was a penalty and I don’t think Shane was looking for a penalty.
“He’s a great guy. I know the fans weren’t too happy with him, but Shane’s not like that. He’s not one of those guys who will dive.
“He’s a real, honest hard-working guy. He knows what his role is and he does it week in, week out.”