herald

Thursday 17 August 2017

Fonte: We need to stick together and pull through

SOUTHAMPTON

SHANE Long says he has faith in Southampton's ability to shrug off their slump and get their season back on track.

Saturday's 1-0 loss to Long's former club West Brom means that the Saints have managed just one win in the last six games, and have failed to score in the last three, though there was a plus from the weekend as Long returned to the side as a second-half sub, his first appearance since he suffered broken ribs in Janaury.

"We still believe in ourselves," said Long. "We've still trained as hard as we've always trained. We have a good squad. Everyone is coming back to fitness as well. The bench is the strongest it's ever been.

"Competition for places is always good. We just need a bit of luck to fall our way and to kick on from there, because we know we have quality to prove why we are where we are in the league," added Long, who also backed team-mate Graziano Pelle to end his scoring drought.

"He's still a threat," Long said. "You can still see the things that he does well for the team, holding the ball up.

"He's a big, physical presence up front as well.

"He just needs the ball to drop for him and hit the back of the net, then maybe that extra confidence will come. You can see every day in training how good he is as a striker. We all have lean periods in our careers, but I'm sure he'll come through it."

Victory lifted the Baggies to 13th to put them on course for survival.

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