Shane Long’s record-breaking goal just seven seconds into Southampton’s 1-1 draw with Watford last time out was his third strike in the last four games in what is becoming an incredible turnaround of form from the Irishman, who has previously been struggling to find the net at all.
Regardless of his recent form, the hitman’s future at St Mary’s Stadium is uncertain with his contract running out next summer and he has now spoken about whether he thinks he can secure an extension.
Well, speaking to The Southampton Daily Echo, the 32-year-old said:
“I think with the last four or five performances I’ve put in, there have been some good ones in there.
“I have only got a year left on my contract and I don’t think I’ve earned the right to go knocking on the door and asking for more years.
“It’s hard to validate giving a new deal out if you aren’t getting the goals or the results on the pitch.
“I am working as hard as I can to try and sway it in my direction and if it’s not to be then I will look to pastures new, but I don’t want that.”
With just three games remaining and survival not yet secured, the Saints will be hoping to end the season strongly by producing a hat-trick of high-quality performances. If they are to evade the drop, they may need more goals from the resurgent Long, who is the only Southampton striker to find the net in 2019.
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The number 7 himself knows that he cannot rest on his laurels now and that a couple more goals will go a long way in convincing the hierarchy at St Mary’s to give him a new deal, so expect him to fight not just for three points, but his future too.
This kind of spirit evidenced in Long’s comments is exactly what Ralph Hasenhuttl demands from each and every one of his players and he will surely be impressed with what the forward, who already fits the high-tempo system perfectly, has said.
If Long can continue his fine goalscoring run, it would be a travesty if he isn’t rewarded with a new deal. Let us know in the comments below, Southampton fans, if you think the striker has earned a contract extension.