Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Tardelli tips Long to bounce back

Ireland striker Shane Long has been reassured that he will be a Premier League player next season, despite Reading's heart-breaking play-off final defeat on Monday.

The Tipperary born player was reunited with the Irish squad on Tuesday afternoon, 24 hours after his Royals top flight dream was killed off by Swansea City.

And Ireland's assistant manager Marco Tardelli, who has witnessed at close hand Long's transformation over the last 18 months, has told the 24-year-old he is convinced the striker will be one of the big movers in the summer transfer window.

Long is likely to have his choice of clubs during the close season if they can match Reading's £4million valuation.

For months he has been linked with moves to Newcastle, Everton & Wolves and Celtic manager Neil Lennon was among the crowd at Wembley keeping an eye on the promising young Irishman.

Tardelli said: 'I think he will be the key man in the transfer window. I see him as a Premier League player now and I think one team will come and buy him.

'He's very good now. Shane physically has become very strong, he's not scared, he's very fast, he reads the game better and he has changed. He has improved.

'He is like Aiden McGeady. When we arrived here they were very shy but now they are very strong. The experience in Russia has been very good for McGeady.

'Shane will be very sad. We saw the match and he played well but football is fantastic because after two or three days everything can change. We know Shane Long will be sad but he will be fine.'