Long: It was hard work

By SFC Media Wed 18 Jan Saints vs Norwich
Photo by Matt Watson | Shane Long

Match-winner Shane Long admitted it was tough for Southampton to kill off Norwich in the Emirates FA Cup, but he was relieved to do so in 90 minutes at St Mary’s.

Long bundled the ball in from close range during stoppage time at the end of the game to avoid the prospect of extra-time, which also secured a fourth round tie at home to Arsenal.

The striker conceded that the Championship side dug in, which made it more difficult, with Saints leaving it late to score the all-important goal.

“It was hard to break them down,” said Long. “They had three big centre backs with five across defence and two sitting in front, so it was tough.

“We passed it well I thought,” he added. “It was frustrating at times and we didn’t have too many clear-cut chances, but we were always threatening.

“It was tough and hard to break them down, but we were confident a chance would come our way, and we did have a few in the end, but it took us until the last minute to take the one that counts.”

Long scrambled in the winner and explained that it was a tougher chance than it appeared.

“It was a great ball in and I just headed it down,” he began “The ‘keeper made a good save, and I think I was in a headlock as I tried to kick the ball in and it squeezed inside the post.

“And both teams have a busy schedule so I think they might have even celebrated that we won the game in 90 minutes!

“It’s a hectic month for us with a lot of games and we didn’t need 30 more minutes so we can kick on in the FA Cup, and we’re still in three competitions which means we’re in with a shout.”


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