The Saints have been training for two days under new manager Mauricio Pellegrino, and Long believes the hard work will pay come mid-August.
"The first impressions are really good. We're working hard and all the work is with the football. Straight away we are working on shape and how Mauricio wants us to play," Long said.
"It was a really tough day's work but I can already see that this season could be a very exciting season."
"He came in and had a quick chat about how he wants to improve us. I know he likes to have meetings, talk to the players and gets his point across well.
"At the moment it's about pressing, passing the ball and working hard for the team to win it back. It's kind of basic stuff, but it will be very valuable when it comes to team play."
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