Date: 7th July 2017 at 12:45pm
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Republic of Ireland striker Shane Long has said he feels that having now trained under manager Mauricio Pellegrino, we could be in for an interesting season.

With pre season returning to Staplewood this week, the players have been put through their tests and they’ve now had the balls out as well and speaking to saintsfc Long explained.

‘The first impressions are really good. We`re working hard and all the work is with the football. Straight away we are working on shape and how Mauricio wants us to play. It was a really tough day`s work but I can already see that this season could be a very exciting season.’

He went on to add.

‘He came in and had a quick chat about how he wants to improve us. I know he likes to have meetings, talk to the players and gets his point across well. At the moment it`s about pressing, passing the ball and working hard for the team to win it back. It`s kind of basic stuff, but it will be very valuable when it comes to team play.’

Long also felt that with plenty of fitness work to do, there’s been a definite benefit to having some time off as he more than feels refreshed.

‘It was hard for me at the start of the summer because I obviously broke a bone in my foot towards the end of last season. So the first two or three weeks were about recovery and getting myself right, then after that all my focus was on building the fitness back up. I did a bit of work whilst I was on holiday in Portugal with the kids. But it`s also nice to get a break. I think it`s the first time in my whole career that I`ve had six weeks off from football without an international break.’

With no international action, it did of course mean that Long was one of the first players back this summer.

‘For me, last season was a bit disappointing. I didn`t play as much as I would have liked to and felt I didn`t get the chances that I deserved at times, so I want to hit the ground running this year. It`s the first pre-season in a long time that I`ve been here from the start, so I want to show the manager what I have got and leave an impression on him come the start of the season.’

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