Koeman reveals Long injury hope

Ronald Koeman has played down the severity of the injury which forced Shane Long out of Southampton’s 2-1 defeat against Chelsea.

Southampton: Koeman reveals Long injury hopeSouthampton: Koeman reveals Long injury hope

The Republic of Ireland international had put the Saints ahead in the match at St Mary’s on Saturday before limping off on 69 minutes.

Long’s withdrawal helped turn the game in Chelsea’s favour as they went on to grab two goals courtesy of Cesc Fabregas and Branislav Ivanovic to end the Saints’ six-match unbeaten run.

It was initially feared that Long had suffered a hamstring injury and could be sidelined for a spell, but Koeman insists the problem is not that severe and he is not definitely ruled out of the Premier League game away at Bournemouth on Tuesday.

He told Southampton’s YouTube channel: “It was a little bit cramp, it was not really a hamstring injury. We have the session later on and then we will make the decision if he is ready for tomorrow, but he will be doubtful.”

If Long is ruled out against the Cherries, it will be a blow as Koeman heaped praise on his forward’s impact on the team.

He added: “Shane is doing very well this season. He’s very dangerous, he’s scoring goals, he’s creating a lot of problems to defenders.

“You like to have everybody available, but we have real competition in all parts of the team and that makes the team stronger.

“If you can’t use to player, the other player needs to be sharp to play and show his qualities.”

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