REPUBLIC of Ireland manager Mick McCarthy believes Shane Long has been 'pushing all the right buttons' to get himself recalled to the national team.

Long was left out of McCarthy's most recent squad but has been a mainstay in Ralph Hasenhuttl's starting XI.

The striker was also on target against Tottenham in the FA Cup last week, with his goal bringing Saints level during the first half.

Speaking to the Irish FA, McCarthy said: “I’ve kept in touch with him and kept him in the picture regarding his need for first-team football.

"He’s back in regular action now with Southampton and his goal at Spurs on Wednesday night was a real poacher’s goal, he was in the right place at the right time.

"Shane is playing again and scoring again and that means he is pushing all the right buttons ahead of Slovakia.”