Claude Puel defended Shane Long’s part in the penalty that got Saints on their way against Crystal Palace last night after Alan Pardew questioned the decision.

Long was booked for simulation against Swansea, and Pardew said after the game the striker had ‘history.’

Former Saints boss Pardew admitted the video replay was inconclusive, but was far from convinced that Martin Kelly’s challenge should have led to a spot kick.

Puel, however, did believe referee James Adcock made the correct call.

He said: “It was dangerous the tackle of the defender on Shane.

“I am afraid that he was injured, that he take a yellow card.

“I think it’s important for the yellow card for this dangerous tackle from behind.

“I didn’t know if the second half he can play because he takes an important tackle. Dangerous.”

Puel had initially been reluctant to talk about it, and the first two times he was asked about the incident said: “I think I can see this game and the difference between the two teams.

“I don’t see chances for Crystal Palace. Strong in defence and good in attack and I think it is logic to win the game and I don’t look after other things.

“I stay with my analysis and I see a very good team, my team, and my players and I am very happy for this performance and the quality of the team and the respect of a good organisation also. This is important.”

Long is desperately searching for a goal to get going, the only thing missing from some good performances.

Charlie Austin isn’t suffering in the same way with four in his last three making it hard for him to be left out.

“If the players of my team are for selection and for me it’s important to continue the work with Charlie and also all the players of all the squad play good football and at this moment it’s important to keep a good attitude and good spirit,” reflected Puel. “Also the selection for the future.

“At the moment it’s important to stay with the spirit and continue the good work.”