Charlie Austin: Shane Long is key for Ireland – but nobody talks about his ‘infamous’ Germany goal!

Southampton striker Charlie Austin on how important strike-partner Shane Long is for Ireland

Charlie Austin on Shane Long and 'that goal' against Germany

Charlie Austin blew punters away with his Cheltenham Festival tipping last week, and the Paddy Power Blog took the opportunity to get the Southampton man’s thoughts on what was a phenomenal week’s racing. We also took the chance to quiz Charlie on Irish legend and Saints team-mate Shane Long, as Martin O’Neill’s national squad get ready for a couple of international friendlies ahead of Euro 2016 in the summer.

‘Shane Long is an incredibly talented centre-forward’, Charlie told us. ‘You know exactly what you’re getting with Shane and he leaves it all out on the pitch. He’s shown that time and again for club and country and that’s why the Irish enjoy his performances so much. Shane will always give you absolutely everything.

‘Long is a centre forward who is constantly making runs, looking for space, hassling defenders and that’s what you want to see as a fan or as a team-mate. Shane deserves the praise he’s getting for Ireland’s European qualifying campaign – his hard work is paying off and he’s obviously a key part of the squad going to France in the summer.’

Long, who scored three goals for Ireland in their Euro 2016 qualifying campaign, now has 14 goals in 59 games for his country.

One thing Shane doesn’t seem to mention all that much in the Southampton dressing room is his infamous winner against World Champions Germany at the Aviva Stadium in October. It was a key goal, a massive giant-killing, and will go down in memory as one of the greatest nights in Irish football. The lads on the Paddy Power Twitter account certainly don’t want to let it go.

But Shane himself rarely brings it up, something we told Charlie needs to be addressed.

‘Nobody really brings up the Germany goal to be honest’, Charlie told us. It’s not something that gets mentioned that much at St Mary’s. Shane isn’t the kind of player to go around bragging about it.’

‘I’ll make sure I get stuck into him when he gets back from this set of Internationals and get people talking about his goal again!’

Shane Long and Ireland go into two friendlies over the next few days, taking on Switzerland on Friday night and Slovakia on Tuesday, with both games taking place in Dublin.