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Hughes Hopeful Over Forward Duo

Hughes Hopeful Over Forward Duo

Southampton boss Mark Hughes hopes forward pair Shane Long and Charlie Austin will be fit for Monday’s visit of Brighton. Republic of Ireland international Long picked up a foot injury during Southampton’s 2-0 victory over Crystal Palace before the international break and was subsequently forced to withdraw from his country’s squad for the matches against Wales and Poland.

Fellow striker Austin replaced Long during the victory at Selhurst Park but he too has been struggling for fitness of late due to a hamstring problem.

Hughes has confirmed both players are yet to take a full part in training this week but he hopes they will join up with the rest of the first-team squad over the weekend.

“We’ve got a little concern with Shane and Charlie, actually, because they haven’t trained this week but we’re hoping to get them back for Saturday or Sunday,” Hughes told reporters. “Hopefully that will give us the options we want.”

Goals have been a problem for Southampton over recent seasons and Danny Ings is the only forward to net a Premier League goal for the club this term.
Hughes is not worried, however, as he is happy with the striking options at his disposal.

“What we’ve got is good variation,” the 54-year-old added. “I’m happy with the different qualities each of them brings to the party.”

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