Saturday 22 October 2016

Long: Let's put it right

Irish striker regrets failure of Euro 2012 and wants to find redemption

Shane Long
Shane Long

Shane Long has told his Ireland team-mates to leave nothing behind on the field and make sure that they leave France with no regrets.

Four years on from the disaster of Euro 2012, this tournament is a chance for redemption and a chance for this Irish side, with many players appearing in a major finals for the last time, to make their mark.

"Just to qualify is an amazing feeling. We've been here once before and we didn't really perform the way we should have or the way we can, and we've been regretting it for four years," says Southampton striker Long.

"So hopefully we can put that right this time. It was still an amazing experience four years ago and I have learned from it. Straight after even the second game (against Spain) we knew that that was more or less it - after the two years' hard work, to just let it fall like that.

"So I take experience from it. I know it can be all over so quickly, so I want to make sure, especially in the Sweden game, that first game, that we start off on the right foot," added Long.

The Irish squad had an unexpected break yesterday as Martin O'Neill gave them the day off from training but it was back to work on the training ground in Versailles today, with a training session planned for the 80,000 capacity Stade de France tomorrow evening.

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