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16th Apr 2017

Southampton boss explains why he took Shane Long off 22 minutes after subbing him on

What a mess up

Conan Doherty

A footballer’s worst fate.

Being brought on only to be brought off again. Jesus, you’d rather just not be given the chance at all.

It’s been a bit of a stop-start season for Shane Long.

The 30-year-old has played in 27 of Southampton’s 31 Premier League games but 18 of those have been as a sub.

As a result, the Irish striker has celebrated just five club goals in total this season when you add in his eight extra cup appearances.

To top it all off, he’s scored just once from the bench in this campaign despite seemingly being categorised as an impact sub by Claude Puel.

So when he was brought off after being brought on during the defeat to Manchester City, you could understand his frustration.

But according to the Southampton manager, the substitution was a ‘misunderstanding’.

“It was difficult,” the French man told the Daily Echo.

“It seems that Shane felt a touch himself [on] his hamstring and it seems a misunderstanding between him and the staff.

“It was a precaution to take off Shane but I hope it’s nothing and it will be good for Shane tomorrow or the next day.”

In fairness to Puel, he seemed pretty pissed off too when he realised that the Irish international wasn’t actually injured.

As Long comes off and seems unhappy about it too, Puel looks to what appears to be his medical team to ask what on earth just happened.

He’s not only had to take off a man he wanted on to help, but he’s had to waste another sub to do so.

The last thing you need when you’re 3-0 down.