Long - Match-winner is vital
Shane Long believes his winning goal against Bosnia could be vital for the Republic of Ireland and their Euro 2012 preparations.
By Hayley Paterson
Last Updated: 26/05/12 6:18pm
Shane Long believes his winning goal in Saturday's friendly against Bosnia could be important in the long run as the Republic Of Ireland prepare to head out to their Euro 2012 training camp.
The West Brom striker came off the bench and saw his second-half header secure a 1-0 win, ensuring Giovanni Trapattoni's men head off to a pre-tournament training camp in Montecatini, Italy happy.
Bosnia failed to break down a resilient Irish side at the Aviva Stadium and the hosts smashed the frame of the goal on two occasions as they looked to impress on home soil.
"The gaffer put me on to get the winner and luckily I was on the end of a brilliant Aiden McGeady cross," Long told Sky Sports.
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 4th June 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."
The win extended Ireland's unbeaten run to 13 games, and came against a team Trapattoni selected because of their similarity to the technically gifted teams his players must face this summer - Croatia, Spain and Italy.
"It was tough but we're glad with the win," said goal-provider McGeady.
"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.
"The atmosphere among us is really good. To win games obviously builds that.
"It's nice to win our final game in Dublin, to keep the crowd interested and excited for what's to come.
"We know against eastern European sides it's always hard.
"They're a tough side to play against, they're technically very good.
"But we've coped and we've kept a clean sheet and that's the big thing for us."