SHANE Long is hoping to make his home debut for Southampton this weekend after coming on for the final 15 minutes against Liverpool on Sunday.
The 27-year-old Ireland international arrived at St Mary’s stadium last Thursday following his move from Hull City, and is eager to make an impact at his new club.
Long was brought on by Saints manager Ronald Koeman with a quarter of an hour remaining in their narrow 2-1 defeat at Anfield, and the striker is already looking ahead to Saturday’s visit by his former team West Brom.
“It felt good to get on the pitch, and I thought the lads were brilliant in the second half,” he said.
“We caused Liverpool all sorts of problems, and if anyone looks like they were going to win it, it was us.
“I think we got clapped off the pitch at the end – that’s how good a performance we put in. It’s frustrating not to get anything out of the game, but there are a lot of positives to take.
“We’ll work hard this week to build towards West Brom at home and hopefully we’ll get the three points then.
“They (Saints) had been planning for this all pre-season – you could see from how well they were organised – so it would’ve been hard for me to come in after two days and slot straight into the team,” he continued.
“Hopefully, with a week’s training under my belt, I can force my way into the manager’s thoughts for the weekend.”
The striker also admitted that knowing that Southampton paid £12m for his transfer from Hull City has given him encouragement to push forward to achieve success with his new club.
“I don’t know whether there were any offers that were rejected before, but when you see them bid that much to get me, I know personally that they wanted to get me in so that gave me a bit of confidence,” he said.
“When you walk into the club, you see how professional it is every day – everyone’s on each other’s cases and pushing each other. That’s why we were very fit and ready to go [on Sunday].”