Shane Long suggests tactical change he hopes Koeman will make

St Marys Southampton

Shane Long wants to play up front with Sadio Mane more often for Southampton.

Shane Long has told the Southern Daily Echo that he wants to become a permanent inclusion up front alongside Sadio Mane.

Ronald Koeman started with Long and Mane against Chelsea this weekend and the duo's pace caused the Blues' defence a problem all day.

The pair both like to play on the shoulder of the last defender and Long, who has spent most his time at St. Mary's playing on the wing, feels that the partnership is one which Koeman should give more time to. 

“Obviously, I was delighted to play up front and delighted that the gaffer had that confidence in me to go out there and play that striker role,” he said.

“Sadio’s a great player to get in between the lines and turn and run at defences. Obviously, when things are in trouble, I’ll stretch them in behind as well. It’s a different option for the gaffer to play and hopefully he enjoyed what he saw.”

Long and Mane have got their chance up front due to the struggles of Graziano Pelle of late.

The Italian striker was brought in to lead the line this summer and he made a blistering start to his career in England, scoring nine goals in his first 12 games for the club.

However, Pelle has not found the Premier League in 2015 and his form means that Koeman has had to try different ways to get his side scoring again.

Southampton have struggled in front of goal lately, but they were a constant threat against Chelsea and if they continue to play like that between now and the end of the season, as Long suggests they should, then the Saints should rediscover their goalscoring edge. 

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch