Martin O’Neill worry as Shane Long injury doubt for Austria

Republic of Ireland manager Martin O’Neill was handed un unwanted headache last night after Shane Long was forced off injured in Southampton’s 1-0 Europa League defeat to Inter.

Martin O’Neill worry as Shane Long injury doubt for Austria

Long appeared to suffer a hamstring injury in the early stages of the second half at the San Siro and was quickly replaced by Charlie Austin.

The seriousness of Long’s injury is not yet known but the striker could be a doubt ahead of Ireland’s vital Euro 2016 qualifier with Austria in Vienna on November 12.

It was a frustrating night for Southampton as they wasted the chance to take a significant step towards the knockout stages.

Their manager Claude Puel gambled in making six changes to his team but on an evening when they could have built their lead at the top of Group K, they fell to third as Antonio Candreva’s goal and Inter’s first points kept the Italians in contention to progress.

That Inter were reduced to 10 men meant further frustration in what had been such a glamour tie for Puel’s team. The result, meanwhile, puts greater pressure on their remaining three fixtures.

“It is very hard to lose this game because we had control of the game every time,” Puel said.

“I think we are unlucky because we played a very good game with quality and had many, many, chances and it is a big disappointment tonight.”

Southampton captain Virgil van Dijk added: “It is very tough. We were the team that deserved it most.

“You can see the goal was their only chance and it is frustrating, we should have buried the game in the first half.

“There was only one team who deserved to win but in the end that is football.”

INTER MILAN:

Handanovic, Nagatomo (D’Ambrosio 90), Miranda, Murillo, Santon, Gnoukouri, Medel, Brozovic, Candreva (Ansaldi 81), Icardi, Eder (Perisic 86).

SOUTHAMPTON:

Forster, Martina, Yoshida, Van Dijk, McQueen, Hojbjerg, Romeu, Ward-Prowse, Tadic (Boufal 73), Rodriguez (Davis 78), Long (Austin 48).

Referee:

Gediminas Mazeika (Lithuania).

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