‘The model’ Shane Long hailed by Southampton boss

Ralph Hasenhuttl has praised the patience and professionalism of ‘role model’ Shane Long after scoring his first Premier League goal for Southampton in all but two years.

Long nodded home to seal the Saints’ 2-0 victory over Everton on Saturday, for his first top goal since the 2-0 victory over Aston Villa on February 22, 2020.

The whole of the Covid-19 pandemic lies between Long, 35,’s last two goals in the Premier League, but despite the drought Hasenhuttl still praised the Republic of England forward. Ireland.

“Longy is a very, very important player for our team: he is fantastic in the dressing room and we are very happy for him,” Hasenhuttl said.

“It’s very simple: he’s a super professional guy who works hard every session.

“He’s always positive, and he hasn’t always had it easy, not playing, waiting for his chance. Then in the cup he showed how important he is for this team.

“So it’s absolutely fantastic to have him on the bench, because he’s always ready when you need him and I know I can trust him.

“I think he knows very well what role he has to play now at this age. He’s a role model for how you have to act.

“That’s why we decided to extend his contract two years ago. I knew he was an important player at all times, calm when he wasn’t playing and supporting the guys, but also there when we needed him.

“And that’s what you need from an experienced player.”

Southampton topped Everton from first to last at St Mary’s on Saturday. The hosts should have been in control at half-time but Kyle Walker-Peters hit the outside of the post with Jordan Pickford well beaten.

Stuart Armstrong’s measured finish eventually gave the Saints the lead after the break, before the Eternal Long converted Tino Livramento’s perfect cross to the far post.

Frank Lampard was unapologetic about Everton’s current problems but insisted the Toffees could always press for quick improvements.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin produced an uneven performance, but more could hardly have been expected given the stingy serve on offer.

And Lampard insisted he would not judge the England forward on this outing to the south coast.

“We can’t use Dominic as a battering ram, he has too much quality for that,” Lampard said.

“We are strong at this end of the pitch, but we have to make sure we get the most out of it. And it was certainly not a game to judge Dominic on the goal entry.

“But I know when he’s fit and we get better he’s going to be a big threat to us. Heads have gone down for us and I understand that. Form always affects confidence.

“But the only way I know to change that is through hard work and focus. There will be other days like this for us, and I’ve seen things from us as a group that I didn’t like.

“But we have to stay very, very together as a club now, and I’m also confident that we’re going to improve and come out of this thanks to all the positive things I’ve seen.”

Rebecca R. Santistevan