RALF HAZENHUTTL welcomes the patience and professionalism of Shane Long as a “role model” who scored his first Premier League goal for Southampton in all but two years.
Long nodded home to solidify Saints ’2-0 win over Everton yesterday, for his first Premier League goal since a 2-0 win over Aston Villa on 22 February 2020.
The entire Covid-19 pandemic is between the last two goals of the 35-year-old Long in the Premier League, but despite the drought, Hazenhutl still praised the striker of the Republic of Ireland.
“Longi is a very, very important player for our team: he is fantastic in the locker room and we are very happy for him,” said Hazenhutl. “Very simple: this is a super-professional guy who works hard at every lesson.
“He is always positive and it was not always easy for him not to play, waiting for his chance. Then the cup showed how important he is to this team. So it’s absolutely fantastic to have him on the bench because he’s always ready when he’s needed and I know I can trust him.
“I think he knows very well what role he should play now at this age. He is an example of how you should act. So two years ago we decided to extend his contract.
“I knew he was an important player at all times, calm when not playing and supporting guys, but close by when you need him. And that’s what you need from an experienced player. “