Long: Goal drought was hard

By SFC Media Sun 13 Jan Leicester v Saints
Photo by Matt Watson | Shane Long

Shane Long admits his long wait for a goal has not been easy, but hopes breaking his duck at Leicester will give manager Ralph Hasenhüttl a reason to keep starting him.

The Irishman forced a mistake from Nampalys Mendy before shooting past Kasper Schmeichel to score the winner in first-half stoppage time at the King Power Stadium.

Long believes Hasenhüttl is a fan of his, but accepts he must score goals to stay in the team.

“It’s been hard,” he said of the drought. “I’ve felt like I’ve been playing well and I was really getting into my stride, but then I was out for six weeks with an ankle injury.

“Coming back into it with a new manager, it takes time to win him over, but everybody being injured helped me out to get that start today, and I’m delighted to get a goal.

“We’ve got good strikers at the club, so ultimately if you’re not scoring goals it’s hard to get into the team.

“I know he (Hasenhüttl) likes me as a player, but I’ve got to give him that excuse to start me in games.

“I’m quite good with my mind. I don’t let things get to me – I don’t read articles, I don’t listen to things that are hammering me.

“I think the lads in the dressing room appreciate what I do for the team and I’m confident in my ability, but it’s hard not to let it get to you personally when you’re not scoring.

“I think the worst thing lately was that I wasn’t getting chances – I wouldn’t mind if I was getting chances because I know one will go my way, but I dug deep and created a chance for myself today. 

“After the game, the lads have come up and congratulated me and everybody is delighted for me just to get that off my back and try to kick on.”

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