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Long hopes Ireland can get on a roll
Published : 27 May 2012 07:47:01Rss feed
Shane Long believes his winning goal in the friendly against Bosnia-Herzegovina could be important in the long run as the Republic of Ireland head to their Euro 2012 training camp.
The West Brom striker's 78th-minute header secured a 1-0 win, and Sunday sees Giovanni Trapattoni's squad depart for their pre-tournament training camp in Montecatini, Italy.
Long said: "The gaffer put me on to get the winner and luckily I was on the end of a brilliant Aiden McGeady cross."
Asked how important victory could be psychologically, Long said: "It's massive. We joined up on Sunday, and we wanted to get off on a good foot today and get a bit of a roll going before we go to Poznan (Ireland's Euro 2012 base).
"Job well done. We go on to Hungary on June 4 and we'll try to get a win there and get a bit of confidence going.
"The whole country's getting right behind us. They're all coming over to support us. Hopefully we'll give them something to shout about."
Trapattoni's men might have won more comfortably in front of a crowd of 37,100 with the post, the bar and the heroics of goalkeeper Asmir Begovic denying them.
The win extended Ireland's unbeaten run to 13 games, and came against a team Trapattoni selected because of their similarity to the teams his players must face this summer - Croatia, Spain and Italy.
McGeady said on Sky Sports 4: "It was tough but we're glad with the win. Bosnia had a few chances in the first half but in the second half we got chances ourselves and it could have been three or four."
Richard Dunne was exhausted as he came off with 20 minutes to go, one of six substitutions made by Trapattoni, who introduced McGeady for the second half. The veteran defender said: "I was just tired in the sun. It's so hot, it takes it out of you. Today was good. When Aiden came on he changed the game and really opened them up."