Adding goals a welcome pressure, insists Long

By SFC Media time Thu 24 Nov Sparta vs Saints

Shane Long says the pressure of adding further firepower to the Southampton attack is a welcome one.

Claude Puel’s men have created a plethora of opportunities this season and, ahead of the Group K clash with Sparta Praha, the Republic of Ireland international feels Saints can be more clinical in front of goal.

“The manager brought up stats and we are creating the chances,” said Long.

“Some of them are hard chances, but we know as a team that we can take more of them, and it's all over the pitch.

“Obviously the strikers are the ones who get the goals, but we've got players all over the pitch that can produce from set-pieces, corner-kicks and stuff like that.

“It's a pressure we like to have. Being a striker I like to score goals, now that I'm back to full fitness that's what I need to do.”

Long returned to the side as a second-half substitute in the 0-0 draw with Liverpool at St Mary’s, after the recurrence of a hamstring injury.

That spell on the sidelines has only increased an ever-burgeoning desire to help the side when called upon.

Long added: “The last month, month and a half I’ve had a hamstring niggle that didn’t quite go away and it kept me out for longer than I would have wanted.

“The team has been performing well and we are still in with a good shout in this competition.

“It is nice to come back into the squad and be where we are in the table and hopefully I can bring something different to manager’s plans and be on the pitch at some point tomorrow and make an impact.”

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