| 5°C Dublin

Long dismisses clueless Southampton critics

SHANE Long has lashed Southampton's faint-hearted critics who reckoned that the clubs unlikely top four challenge was nothing more than a bubble ready to burst.

Southampton dismissed Everton with some ease on Saturday and got back on track after five defeats on the trot with Long on target for the third in a 3-0 win.

Long has been virtually ever-present in Ronald Koeman's team since he joined from Hull City in the final weeks of the summer transfer deadline.

And the Ireland international reckons that anyone who believed that Southampton would drop back into the pack after a bright first half of the season was wrong.

"People don't have a clue what they are talking about, saying stuff like that," he said. "I think if you'd come to watch us and seen the games, you would be happy with the performances."

"You'd be disappointed with the results, like we were, but we knew that if we kept doing the right things that things would turn our way and we'd get that rub of the green and take our chances when they come."

The individual performance which caught the eye came from the latest graduate of Southampton's academy, 19-year-old England Under-20 international Harrison Reed, making his first Premier League start and looking assured in a holding midfield role.

"I was delighted for him because he trains hard and I was really impressed since the first day I came in," Long said.

"I was delighted for him because he trains hard and I was really impressed since the first day I came in," Long said.

"It is hard to get a game with the quality we have in midfield, but two suspensions [to Morgan Schneiderlin and Victor Wanyama] and Jack Cork injured as well have given him a chance to shine and he took it."

"I thought he was immense today and did really, really well stopping the ball getting to the attack and breaking up play. It was good to watch."


Privacy