Shane Long has confirmed that the fee Southampton paid for him has given him a confidence boost more than putting pressure on his shoulders.
The Irish striker joined the Saints from Hull City this summer, and made his debut in the opening game of the season against Liverpool at Anfield on Sunday.
With Southampton's first home match of the season coming this weekend against one of Long's former clubs, West Brom, the new man is desperate to make his full debut in what would also be his first experience of St. Mary's as a home player.
Price tag pressure
When Ronald Koeman splashed out around £12million for Long just a week or so ago, many felt that the price was too high, and that it would heap the pressure on Long to perform.
However, the Irishman has told the club's official website that the fee has actually given him a significant boost of confidence, and that he felt valued more than anything else ahead of the new season.
“I don’t know whether there were any offers that were rejected before, but when you see them bid that much to get me, I know personally that they wanted to get me in so that gave me a bit of confidence,” he said.
“I think they realised that I was one of the starters every week for Hull, so to get me out of there was going to take an offer that makes you sit up and take notice."
Eager for more
Following his ten minute cameo as a substitute at Anfield - something Long understood the reasons for - he's hopeful that a full week of training will have shown manager Koeman what he's capable and allowed him to force his way into the starting XI.
“It felt good to get on the pitch, and I thought the lads were brilliant in the second half," he added.
"It would’ve been hard for me to come in after two days and slot straight into the team.