Mark Hughes hopes Charlie Austin and Shane Long can prove their fitness over the weekend ahead of Monday’s home clash with Brighton. The Southampton boss revealed some worrying concerns about his leading strike duo – but the extra preparation time Saints’ have could be key in getting one or both ready for the Premier League visit of the Seagulls.
“We have concerns with Shane Long and Charlie Austin, who haven’t trained this week, but we’re hoping to have them back over the weekend,” said the Welshman.
Austin appeared to come through a substitute appearance against Crystal Palace unscathed just prior to the international break but Hughes alluded to a hamstring injury that the striker has been nursing.
The ex-QPR hitman will undergo fitness checks over the weekend while Long, who was forced off in the win against Palace, is also a big concern.
A toe problem forced him to withdraw from the Republic of Ireland squad and he may not yet have overcome the niggling problem.
However, Danny Ings is apparently edging closer to full fitness after getting over the worst from a foot blister.
“Danny has a bad blister,” added Hughes.
“He tore a chunk of skin off his foot against Everton and he was taking painkillers to stop the pain. He’s not having injections anymore and he’s back in training, so we’re hoping there are no more problems with that.”