Shane Long is in contention to replace Danny Ings for tomorrow night’s game against Liverpool after a successful return to training.

Ings is unable to face his former club due to the loan arrangement that brought him to St Mary’s meaning there is a place up for grabs for the high-profile match at St Mary’s.

Long was forced to miss the win over Brighton with a groin injury but is back and an option for manager Ralph Hasenhuttl.

“Ingsy is not allowed to play so we have to have a new offensive position,” said the Saints boss.

“Longy is back in training and is an option.

“Jannik Vestergaard is training and maybe an option or Jack Stephens as an alternative.

“Lemina it’s a pity he is not back in training again because still he has problems this week so he needed more rest.”

Saints are edging ever nearer to Premier League safety.

Since their win over the Seagulls, third from bottom Cardiff have lost twice, meaning the gap has stuck at five points.

However, Hasenhuttl is taking nothing for granted just yet.

“It would be dangerous,” he admitted.

“We know how tough it was so far to get the right points at the right moment and there are still a lot of points to get so we must stay focussed.

“The results in midweek were good for us but it’s still a long way to go and the earlier we get to 40 points as soon as we can the better and stay focussed.”