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Long hits first goal for Southampton

SHANE Long says he is relieved to have ended his goal drought at Southampton after the Ireland striker found the net for the Saints last night for the first time since his summer move from Hull City.

Long had drawn a blank in his previous 10 games for Southampton but he was on target last night in a 3-2 League Cup win away to Stoke City, Graziano Pellè scoring the other two and the goal was a relief for Long.

"It was a great cup game. It was end-to-end in the second half. I felt a bit sorry for Stoke at the end because they gave it everything," said the Tipperary lad.

"But it was good to show our character to pull us through. Obviously getting a goal was on my mind and I am delighted to have got off the mark, but it wasn't getting me down too much.

"Stoke went a lot more direct in the second half and put us under pressure. Before that first goal we were dealing with it well. When you're 2-1 up you tend to drop off a little bit. We had a few chances to kill the game off and make it 3-1. We've been tested a few times this season and we've come out on the winning side. It is always nice to have that character in the dressing room.

"It is important the whole team is playing well and that we are winning. We're currently second in the league and enjoying a good cup run, so that is all that matters. A cup run is always good, it keeps the club on a high, we're playing well in the league but sometimes fringe players get a run out in the cup.

Meanwhile at White Hart Lane, Spurs progressed with a 2-0 win over Brighton.