Shane Long is refreshingly honest about standing at Southampton as he enters final year of contract 5 months ago

Shane Long is refreshingly honest about standing at Southampton as he enters final year of contract

Shane Long refuses to get carried away with his recent goal return.

Long scored the fastest goal in Premier League history with his well-taken opener against Watford on Tuesday night and while he has now found the net in three of his last four games, the Southampton striker is refreshingly honest when it comes to his current standing at St. Mary's.

Long is entering the final year of his Saints deal and is under no illusions when it comes to his negotiating power at the club.

"I have only got a year left on my contract and I don’t think I’ve earned the right to go knocking on the door and asking for more years," the Irish international told The Southern Daily Echo.

"I think the club is an amazing club and the people here like the way I approach the game, the way I train and the way I am in the dressing room. As a striker you need goals and I am trying to put my case forward between now and the end of the season."

Long is well aware of the fact that his goalscoring return has not been up to scratch in recent seasons, having failed to hit double figures in each of his last three campaigns with the Saints.

But with a new Republic of Ireland manager to impress in Mick McCarthy and faith being shown in him in recent weeks by Saints boss Ralph Hassenhuttl, Long is eager to stay and prove his worth at Southampton.

"Everyone knows I love it here and I know next season is going to be a big season because of the confidence the manager has instilled around the place and I want to be a part of that," Long said.

"If it does come to it at the end of the season and I’m not wanted anymore, then I will still look back on my career at Southampton as a good time and something to be really proud of.

"It’s hard to validate giving a new deal out if you aren’t getting the goals or the results on the pitch. I am working as hard as I can to try and sway it in my direction and if it’s not to be then I will look to pastures new, but I don’t want that."