Koeman not happy with Long’s ROI appearance

Date published: Friday 20th November 2015 9:48

Shane Long: Played 35 minutes

Southampton boss Ronald Koeman was not impressed with Shane Long’s appearance for Republic of Ireland in midweek.

Long has been laid low for Saints for five weeks with an ankle problem, so Koeman was “surprised” to see the 28-year-old play 35 minutes in the Republic’s Euro 2016 play-off win over Bosnia-Herzegovina.

“I was surprised,” said Koeman. “Of course our doctor had contact with the medical staff of the Irish national team and my information was he still was not 100 per cent fit.

“I don’t like to say more because that’s not the way; the way is to contact them and if we are not happy we have to tell them. That’s the first step.

“He is now fit- because he played 40 minutes! But in my opinion a player needs more training before playing 40 minutes.

“I understand it was a very important game, about qualification, but if I’m national coach I don’t put a player in after five or six weeks with only one training session. But that’s my personal opinion.”

Meanwhile, striker Jay Rodriguez may need an operation to cure a mystery foot problem.

The England international only returned to action this season after 16 months out with cruciate damage but has now been sidelined since mid-October.

Koeman is baffled by the latest injury but Rodriguez could be facing another long spell out.

“Jay is not good, we are disappointed,” added Koeman. “We did everything about his feet but looks like it could be surgery next week.

“I don’t know what it is, you have to ask the doctor. The medical staff will make the final call about surgery, and if it’s yes I can tell something more about how long (he will be out).

“It’s difficult for the player and for everybody, he has no problems about his knee and it’s a different injury. That takes him down mentally, but we will give total support to the player.”

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