REPUBLIC of Ireland boss Stephen Kenny says Shane Long will be on “stand-by” for the Boys In Green after leaving him out of his latest squad.

Long, who has played 85 times for his country, is not set to feature in Ireland’s clashes with England, Wales and Bulgaria later this month.

Kenny put Long’s omission down to a lack of game time at Saints this season, but says he had spoken with the Tipperary-born frontman.

Long had started and played 74 minutes of Ireland’s goalless Nations League draw with Wales last month.

He also came off the bench in the European Championship play-off against Slovakia.

Asked about leaving out the 33-year-old, Kenny said: “The problem is that Shane has not played a match of any description except for us.

"Even in the Carabao Cup, the manager kept his first team. He has just not played any football.

"We know that he has got 17 goals for Ireland and has scored important goals in the past. That is why I brought him in against Slovakia.

“I spoke to Shane, his attitude is great and he is on standby so if we get an injury at the weekend then he could still be involved.”