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Long's relief after 11-month goal drought ends: 'It's hard not to let it get on top of you'

The Irish striker found the net last night against Crystal Palace.

Southampton v Crystal Palace - Premier League - St Mary's Stadium Shane Long during Southampton's 1-2 defeat to Crystal Palace last night. Source: Adam Davy

SHANE LONG HAS expressed his relief after the Ireland striker ended a dismal run without a goal in Southampton’s Premier League game against Crystal Palace last night.

Long gave the Saints the lead by opening the scoring in the 17th minute at St Mary’s, although it ultimately ended in disappointment for the home side as second-half goals from James McArthur and Luka Milivojevic gave Palace all three points.

Nevertheless, after ending his 11-month drought, Long is hoping his strike can help to kickstart a purple patch for both him and his team. Southampton are currently in 17th place in the Premier League, with only goal difference separating them from the relegation zone.

“I’m an experienced player. It’s hard not to let it get on top of you when you’re not scoring, but I just kept plugging away,” Long told Southampton’s official website.

The Tipperary native’s last goal — for either club or country — had come 325 days earlier (11 February, 2017) in a 4-0 Premier League win away to Sunderland.

Long added: “It’s nice to see it hit the back of the net. Frustrating it didn’t get us three points, but nice to get it off my back and hopefully I can kick on from here on in.”

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Paul Dollery

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