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Saints will bounce back says Long

Shane Long believes Southampton will bounce back next week after a disappointing display against Stoke City on Saturday.

Bryn Lennon/Getty Images

Shane Long expects the Saints to bounce back from their frustrating loss to Stoke City at the weekend ahead of a big week of football for Southampton.

Ronald Koeman's men will travel to Manchester City next weekend, then host Liverpool in the Capital One Cup on the Wednesday, before hosting Aston Villa on the following Saturday.

Bojan's early strike for Stoke saw the Saints see an end to their eight game unbeaten run. Long is looking forward to getting back into training to prepare for trip to the Etihad to try and maintain Southampton's unbeaten away record.

"We're back in training next week. We'll look forward to Man City," Long told reporters after the game on Saturday.

"We've then got three games in a week with Liverpool and Villa after that. We'll get back on track. We'll have a good training week and I'm sure the gaffer will have us well prepared for three big games."

The forward, who made his first appearance since the end of September after an ankle injury, praised Stoke's organisation.

"Stoke put themselves around the pitch well and sat with four defenders, with the two in front. It was hard to break them down.

"We needed that little break for us to fall. We could have gone onto win the game but credit has to go to Stoke. They held out and I think a draw would have been a fair result. They got the win and we have to go away and try and learn from this."

The Republic of Ireland international also believed his side had two possible penalty decisions turned down. Long was fouled in the box whilst Graziano Pelle was caught in mid-air whilst chesting the ball down.

"Mine was probably 50-50, but the one with Graziano the ball fell to me and I'd stopped because I thought it was a definite pen.

"I thought the linesman would see it and the ref had seen it. Graziano's chested it and he's kicked across him. I'm surprised it wasn't given, but sometimes they give them, sometimes they don't."