Long urges FAI to extend Trapattoni's contract until Brazil 2014
Shane Long believes that Giovanni Trapattoni should be retained as Ireland manager beyond the conclusion of the European Championship qualifying campaign.
The Italian has stressed a desire to lead Ireland to the World Cup in Brazil in 2014, and those plans have received a ringing endorsement from Long, who feels he has improved from the tutelage of Trapattoni and assistant manager Marco Tardelli.
"He's added to every player's game, and the longer he's over Irish football, the better for it," said the in-form Reading front man, who was the outstanding Irish player in last week's friendly loss to Uruguay at the Aviva Stadium.
"I think every player learns so much from him," said Long. "I know that personally, I do (learn) anyway. Him and Marco, the two of them kind of look after me a bit and train me up a bit.
"When I come into the Irish squad, I learn something new every time. I suppose, how can't you learn from a World Cup winner and a manager with his accolades?
"They've definitely added to my game a lot and are part of the reason why I'm scoring.
"We're joint top of the table and in a great position of making the Europeans. It's working for us," added the 24-year-old.
After another win for Reading on Tuesday, Long is in flying form and hoping for a positive end to his season.
There was bad news for another Irish striker yesterday, however, with Newcastle's Leon Best ruled out for the rest of the season after it was confirmed he required surgery on an ankle problem.
He is set to miss June's qualifier with Macedonia, a second confirmed absentee for Trapattoni after Paul Green damaged a cruciate ligament in action for Derby last Saturday.
The midfielder could be out until well into the autumn.