Martin O'Neill appears to agree with Ronald Koeman when it comes to Shane Long role

St Marys Southampton

Shane Long has been mostly used as a substitute for Southampton and the Republic of Ireland this season.

Republic of Ireland boss Martin O'Neill has admitted to Sky Sports that Shane Long suits being an impact substitute at this moment in time.

Long came off the bench for the Republic of Ireland on Thursday night, and netted the winner in their shock 1-0 victory over world champions Germany. 

The Southampton striker admitted, to Sky Sports, his disappointment at not starting in the contest, but O'Neill's opinion of him seems to be similar to Ronald Koeman's.

Koeman has started Long just once in the Premier League for Southampton, with the 28-year-old generally being brought on late in matches, when defences are tiring. 

And O'Neill said: "Shane has come on against Poland [in March] and proved his worth [with a late equaliser], and I think at this minute the role suits him.

"When I get into the dressing room, I'll say 'well done' to him because he's won the game for us."

Long's pace and energy makes him a natural impact sub, as he is a nightmare for defenders to mark when fatigue is setting in.

His electric speed makes him a real weapon, and his skill set was on full display at the Aviva Stadium as he latched onto a loose ball and hammered it beyond Manuel Neuer in the German goal. 

Long now has six goals in 11 appearances for club and country this season, and he will be hoping to prove that he is capable of making such an impact when starting in the future. 

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