Shane Long apologised to manager Ronald Koeman after the 4-2 win over Aston Villa – because he only scored one goal.

The Republic of Ireland striker set Saints on their way by heading home Ryan Bertrand’s cross, having already hit the bar in the opening couple of minutes of the game.

He went on to have a few other opportunities which went begging, much to his frustration.

Despite having scored and come away with the three points, Long still made a point of apologising to his manager that he didn’t score more, an attitude Koeman is mightily impressed with.

He said: “In general of course positive because he is working hard, he is doing well and creating a lot of problems to the defenders.

“He apologised himself after the game that he wasn’t scoring more goals than one.

“That’s I think a good mentality because he had some good chances to score.

“He apologised to the manager. That’s good.

“He knows by himself he had more opportunities to score goals. That’s what I like.

“I never complain to a player who is working hard and doing everything.

“It’s part of the job missing chances.”

Last week Koeman was frustrated as Saints failed to score more than once at Goodison Park, but this week his side were rampant away from home as their attacking brand of football paid dividends.

After the match Koeman was asked about his feelings at Saints and replied: “I’m very happy in Southampton, still one year of contract and I think everybody can be happy how it works and how the team is doing.

“It was my first season last season, this year we are fighting for Europe, we win against big teams, a good record at home and we try to win football and try to create chances. If you don’t create you can’t win.

“The mentality and desire to win is I think a great quality of the players, and that’s by good coaches.

“I like my team how we play football because I like football and I need to enjoy my team and of course the final result is always very important. We play to win the game and that mentality is what I like.”

The Saints boss was also pleased to see Dusan Tadic back on form.

The Serbian attacker played superbly at Everton and followed it up with two goals at Aston Villa.

“Dusan is doing well at the moment, he’s one of the players what makes the difference on the pitch,” admitted Koeman.

“He’s strong, good movements, he’s scoring goals and that’s what you like from the strikers.”