Shane Long says he’s enjoying the best run of his Southampton career.
Long has started every game since scoring twice against Arsenal on Boxing Day, leading the line in the absence of the injured Graziano Pellè.
The Republic of Ireland international believes his confidence is growing game by game as Ronald Koeman gives him the opportunity to impress.
“I think it’s the best run of games I’ve been on and I think there’s a reason for that,” Long told youtube.com/southamptonfc in the build-up to Southampton’s game against Manchester United.
“The gaffer thinks I cause the opposition problems and I like to try and bring the other lads into the game as well.
“I think every week I feel like I’m getting more and more confident on the pitch. I’m receiving the ball in situations I probably shouldn’t.
“But I have the confidence to get on the ball. I’m enjoying it at the moment, so I will see where it takes me from here.
“I’ve been playing on the wings and playing in different positions behind Graziano, but it doesn’t come as natural to me, so it’s a bit harder.
“To get the chance upfront when Grazi has been injured, I knew it was time to show what I could do and take my chance,” Long continued.
“I think I’ve played well, scored a few goals and we’ve won a few games. It’s been enjoyable.”
Long has linked up well with Sadio Mané in recent games, with Koeman opting to play the Senegalese international just off the 29 year-old.
And Long feels as though the two have gained a good understanding. “I think Sadio likes to get on the ball and run at defenders and I like to test in behind as well," he added.
“If I do drop into midfield and he’s upfront he can slot into that position well, so it’s enjoyable. We’re known for our pace.
“Defenders don’t like that when you have two quick lads upfront that will pressure everything and cause problems when they have the ball.
“It’s an enjoyable partnership.”