Southampton striker Shane Long feels he is playing for his future at St Mary’s, according to the Southampton Daily Echo.
Long became something of a figure of fun when he went on a long goal drought but his constant work rate won him a place in Hasenhuttl’s plans and he has paid his manager back with goals, including the quickest in Premier League history in Tuesday’s 1-1 draw with Watford.
The Republic of Ireland international said: “I have only got a year left on my contract and I don’t think I’ve earned the right to go knocking on the door asking for more years.
“As a striker you need goals and I am trying to put my case forward. Everyone knows I love it here. Next season is going to be a big season. I want to be a part of that.
“If it does come to it at the end of the season and I’m not wanted anymore, I will look back on my career at Southampton as a good time. It’s hard to validate giving a new deal out if you aren’t getting the goals. I am working as hard as I can to sway it in my direction. If it’s not to be then I will look to pastures new, but I don’t want that.”
It’s rare to hear a player be this candid or indeed this self-effacing when it comes to putting their case forward for a new contract.
Long is clearly acutely aware of the impact his long goal drought might have had on the thinking of the club when it comes to giving him a new deal.
But if Hasenhuttl can keep getting the hard work and goals he is currently getting from Long, then Southampton should give him an extension.