Republic of Ireland striker Shane Long hit the headlines in the last international break for his ‘Cowboy!! . . . nuff said’ tweet possibly directed at interim boss Noel King, but last night he was hitting the back of the net as well.
The West Brom hitman finished off a lovely move involving Jonathan Walters and Seamus Coleman in the 80th minute to put the gloss on Ireland’s 3-0 victory.
In another deleted tweet during Noel King’s short reign Long proclaimed it had been a ‘long long 10 days’, but after last night’s game Long wanted to put that Twitter row to bed for good.
“I didn’t name any names in the tweet, the press made what they wanted of that and blew it up a bit more then in was.
“You know, it’s a new start for me, I’ve never played under the gaffer and never met Roy before. I want to make good impressions and hopefully I did that tonight.”
Long’s good mood was reflected in his social media account last night.
On his club future, the Tipperary native was keen to stress he was happy at West Brom but wouldn’t rule out a move away in January if a new contract was not forthcoming.
“I’m just concentrating on my football at West Brom and if a new contract doesn’t get sorted out then I will have to look at pastures, but at the moment I’ll let that take care of itself”, said Long.
With O’Neill playing 4-4-1-1 last night Long was quick to acknowledge to competition for places.
“It’s obviously going to be tough to get in there, I just have to bide my time like I’ve done, come off the bench, try make an impact and show what I can do.
“I just have to try an impress at training, keep scoring at club level and force the issue”.
Finally, Long wanted to dispel the rumours of a possible Republic of Ireland band forming with himself and Andy Reid.
“I think he’d outdo me now in a sing-song, he is a talented footballer and he can play banjo and all sorts as well, so I’ve got it up to me”.
We don’t know Shane - we think you have a lovely voice.
By Shaun Cronin