New Blackpool signing Chris Long has dismissed question marks over his attitude as “nonsense” following his move from neighbours Fleetwood Town.
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The striker signed for the rest of the season on Tuesday. His Fleetwood contract had been cancelled on the same day, bringing an end to a disappointing second spell at Highbury for the 23-year-old.
Long agreed a two-year deal with Fleetwood last summer following his release by Burnley but he struggled for game-time under Joey Barton, making just 13 appearances.
His last Town appearance was at Bury in the Checkatrade Trophy in November, when Long was hauled off at half-time for what Barton described as “effort errors”. The striker was ordered to train with the club’s Under-18 squad.
Asked why it didn’t work out for him at Fleetwood, Long replied: “You’re probably best asking the Fleetwood manager to be honest. I just got my head down and cracked on with whoever I was training with.
“That’s one thing that has done my head in to be honest: people questioning my attitude when all I want to do is play football.
“I want to win and I want to score goals. I just want to play football, and when people question that it’s a load of nonsense.
“Now I’m at Blackpool it’s a case of proving them wrong but it was the same when I left Burnley and Everton. Football is about proving people wrong and that’s what I’ve got to do here.
“But the main thing is to enjoy my football and score goals, that’s all I want to do. Blackpool is my main focus. The rest has gone now. It’s in the past.”
After Long’s move was confirmed, Barton stoked the flames by suggesting he could expect a “huge dose of reality” at Blackpool. “Longy will be washing his kit next week,” Barton added.
Long joked: “That’s not really an issue because my girlfriend likes washing.
“I’m a football player and I like to play football. That’s the thing that hasn’t been happening the last couple of months.
“I’m here now and I’m ready to crack on, work hard and score goals.
“It’s only a short contract but hopefully I can show what I can do and earn another one.
“I already know a few of the lads, like Jay Spearing and Jimmy Ryan.
“I knew in the summer they were interested but I went to Fleetwood, which didn’t really work out.
“I wanted to work under Terry (McPhillips) as well. I’ve always wanted to work with Terry and I said that to him.”