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Koeman hopes ´dangerous´ Long can fill Pelle void

Southampton manager Ronald Koeman is hopeful Shane Long will fill the void left by the suspended Graziano Pelle against Manchester City on Saturday.

The Saints travel to the Etihad Stadium for the Premier League clash without their top goalscorer, who is suspended having picked up five yellow cards.

Long made his first Southampton appearance for seven weeks in the 1-0 home loss to Stoke City last weekend after an ankle injury and Koeman has confidence in his ability to cause problems for City.

“You will miss a player who normally always starts the game and when he is the top scorer in the team,” said the 52-year-old.

“But last season we played without Graziano at Chelsea away and we had a good result and I still remember what John Terry mentioned after the game that he found it so tough to play against Shane Long. So hopefully we can see the same now. 

“He is a different player with different qualities, but also a very dangerous front player.

“He was a long time injured, he played 90 minutes last weekend and he will start again.”

Southampton are eighth in the table, six points adrift of third-placed City going into the match.

Koeman continued: “Our style will be the same; that we try to play football, to build up from the back, but of course in direct play it needs to be changed a little bit.

“If we couldn’t [cope without Pelle] I would be doing something wrong, because we are only talking about one player in the squad.”

Thu 26 Nov, 2015
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