Shane Long says it has been incredible to see the response of Southampton’s fans to qualifying for the EFL Cup final.
Saints progressed to Wembley after a 2-0 aggregate win over Liverpool in the semi-final, with Long providing the emphatic conclusion with his added-time winner at Anfield last Wednesday.
Almost a week on from that famous night, Long explained how the enormity of it had begun to sink in.
"It was an amazing feeling, just after scoring that goal,” he said. “With two minutes left, we knew that was enough to get us there and we could enjoy the last two minutes of the game, and scoring in front of the fans was an amazing feeling.
“For a club like Southampton that has been progressing every year, to get to a final and have a chance of winning some silverware, it's exactly what the club deserves, so hopefully we can bring it back for them.”
There have been plenty of videos emerging on social media of the scenes from the away end – not to mention living rooms and pubs – as Long scored, and the Saints striker has enjoyed the chance to watch them.
"I saw one video with someone saying 'Please, please, please,' as I was kicking the ball, and I love those videos from the stands, because they're more realistic,” he said.
“We're as excited out on the pitch as the people are up in the stands, and it's nice to see.
"It's been a long time since Southampton won a major trophy – I think it was '76 – so it's a great opportunity for the fans to have a day out at Wembley and to get some silverware under their belts and something to be proud of.
“As I said, we've progressed every year in the league, and we haven't really had that cup run yet, so it's a great opportunity for us as well to get some silverware, because I'm not exactly a spring chicken anymore.
“I'm not that young, and there's not that many medals about, and I know how hard it is to get them, so it's one chance that I can't wait to take.”
With the entrance to Southampton’s training ground situated on a road named Long Lane, one fan was quick to make an addition to it in the aftermath of Wednesday, adding a sticker that turned it into ‘Shane Long Lane’.
"It's mad,” said Long. “Actually, when I signed, it was the first thing I noticed when I pulled up to the training ground, was that it was on Long Lane, and my wife goes 'That's a sign.'
“Seeing it now, and my name's in front of it, hopefully it lasts there for a while – I think they should rename it!”