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Reading striker Long targeting successful club and international year

Shane Long is hoping for promotion to the Premier League with Reading and to establish himself in the Republic of Ireland set-up. The 23-year-old international turned in an impressive individual display for the Republic of Ireland, capped with a goal in Wednesday night's 2-1 defeat by Norway at the Aviva Stadium.

He said: "We [Reading] are doing well at the moment. We are three points off fourth position and we are scoring lots of goals, but we are conceding them as well at the moment.

"We are playing well week in, week out and we definitely have a good enough squad - you, but good enough - to get into the play-offs at least and push for that Premier League position.

"That's where it is all at."

Long has played in 17 of Reading's 21 games to date this season and scored four goals, and he has two more in three appearances for Ireland.

On Wednesday evening in his 16th senior appearance for his country, he stood in for the injured Robbie Keane and got his side off to the perfect start by winning and then converting a fifth-minute penalty.

Long said: "I landed on the ball and there was no-one taking it from me.

"It was never said who was on penalties. Glenn [Whelan] was the obvious option. He asked me if I fancied it and I said yes, and that was it.

"I know if I had missed, he would have had words to say, so it was nice just to stick it away in the corner."

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