He’s not gone yet.
Ireland boss Stephen Kenny has rubbished reports suggesting that Shane Long is no longer a part of his Ireland plans, despite the Southampton forward being left out of his latest squad.
Michael Obafemi earned his recall for the upcoming Uefa Nations League games amid the absence of Norwich City forward Adam Idah, who misses out through a long-term injury.
That injury may have opened the door slightly for Long however, but it was not the case as Long’s international exile continued.
“Anything is possible. The door is open for him in the future..”
But despite his latest omission, Kenny has denied that the 35-year-old is no longer in his thoughts in regards to the international reckoning.
“I spoke to Shane this week,” Kenny explained when speaking to Virgin Media News. “Shane hasn’t played much this season, but played recently and did well.
“He has been an amazing player for Ireland and his attitude is terrific. As a person, he is someone that we really value as a person in Irish football history. He’s had a few great moments and a great career.
“He’s been an amazing player for Ireland.
“Someone we really value as a person in Irish football history.”
Stephen Kenny on Shane Long who has been left out of the Ireland squad, but says the door remains open for him to return.
— Virgin Media Sport (@VMSportIE) May 26, 2022
“It wouldn’t be fair to say that [he’s no longer in Kenny’s plans]. Anything is possible. The door is open for him in the future.”
Despite his continuing absence, Long has maintained his presence in the Saints’ dressing room, helping a young squad achieve their goals under Austrian boss Ralph Hasenhuttl.
The recent 2021/22 campaign was far from successful for the South Coast outfit, but they will be hoping to push on next season at the very least.
If not, the Austrian is likely to pay the price with his job.
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