Charlie Austin says he’s enjoyed playing with the “incredibly talented” Shane Long up front at Southampton.
Austin and Long are among Ronald Koeman’s options in attack at St Mary’s and, while the former is currently out with a hamstring injury, he has seen enough of team-mate Long to know he can form a good partnership with the Republic of Ireland frontman.
Austin told Paddy Power: “Shane Long is an incredibly talented centre-forward. You know exactly what you’re getting with Shane and he leaves it all out on the pitch.
“He’s shown that time and again for club and country and that’s why the Irish enjoy his performances so much. Shane will always give you absolutely everything.”
Austin, signed from QPR in January, has kept a close eye on Long’s performances in recent weeks and has been clearly impressed with the former Hull man.
He added: “Long is a centre forward who is constantly making runs, looking for space, hassling defenders and that’s what you want to see as a fan or as a team-mate.
“Shane deserves the praise he’s getting for Ireland’s European qualifying campaign – his hard work is paying off and heÂ’s obviously a key part of the squad going to France in the summer.”