Hull City striker Shane Long wants his new club to reach the 40-point mark as soon as possible – and has targeted three points against Crystal Palace tonight to set them on their way to Barclays Premier League safety.
The Irish international only joined the Tigers from West Bromwich Albion earlier this month for a fee believed to be in the region of £6m, but he is already fully focused on the Tigers survival bid.
Speaking at a press conference yesterday, Long said: “Obviously, every year the aim is 40 points and the quicker you get there, the better.
“We’ve got a few games coming up in the next month that are winnable. If we can pick up three points here and there it will take that bit of pressure off us and we can start looking up rather than down.”
Long is in line to make his Hull debut in SE25 tonight, but he knows Palace will provide a stern test at Selhurst Park. “It’s not an easy place to go," he said. "I’ve played them twice already this season with West Brom – once in the cup, once in the league.
“They’ve got a good shape, Tony Pulis has come in and he’s drilled that into them. They are a danger from set pieces and they’re not a bad side.
“They’ve picked up a lot of wins lately so it’s going to be a tough game, we’re under no illusions, but we have that quality that we can go out there and get the three points if we turn up on the night. We’ve got to make sure that we do that.”
The “quality” Long refers to includes another new January acquisition, Nikica Jelavic, whom Long is keen to form a partnership with between now and the end of the season.
“He’s a very good player,” Long said of his new teammate. “He’s looking to get to the World Cup in the summer so he’s very eager to do well here.
“I think we could link up well together, so I’m looking forward to getting on the pitch with him and trying to work at our partnership.
“I hope we can bring something new to the squad and add a bit more. The team is obviously a very good team as it is and every transfer window, if you can add something to it, it’s always good for the club.
“There’s a bit of pressure on us to try and produce some goals and lift us higher up the table.”