Southampton striker Shane Long has admitted to the Southern Daily Echo that Ronald Koeman was likely to have been annoyed with him for playing in the Republic of Ireland’s Euro 2016 qualifier against Bosnia.
Long had been out with injury for six weeks prior to his country’s match against Bosnia, but he made himself available for the second leg of the tie.
The 28-year-old was introduced with 35 minutes of the match to go, and Long claims that Koeman was likely to have been annoyed by his decision to play.
“I was surprised myself to be involved after five or six weeks out,” he said.
“But I was delighted to be playing for my country and getting more caps on there and being part of what was a massive night for Irish football.
“I’m sure the gaffer was annoyed because after six weeks out — it’s not what you want one of your players to be doing.
“But I think he knows me well enough. I’ve been in the game long enough to know when I’m able to play.”
Long ended up helping the Republic of Ireland to book their place in France next summer, and he doesn’t seem to have had any repercussions over playing.
The striker made his Southampton comeback at the weekend against Stoke City, and it is likely that he will have an important role to play in the coming weeks.
With Graziano Pelle suspended for one game, and Jay Rodriguez set for a lengthy lay-off, Koeman has a lack of options in forward positions and Long looks likely to start against Manchester City on Saturday.
If Southampton can win at the Etihad Stadium, they could move up to sixth in the Premier League table, having made an impressive start to their campaign.