SAM Long has put his strong performances in the past week down to taking the right approach day-in, day-out.

An injury to Chris Cadden last weekend thrust the full back into the side out of the blue.

But he hit the ground running, even getting on the scoresheet in the 3-0 win over Rochdale.

And the 24-year-old then helped to keep the likes of Aiden McGeady quiet during Tuesday’s Carabao Cup success against Sunderland.

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Long has shown himself to be dependable when required – a coach’s dream for a player who has spent most of his career on the fringes.

He said: “I don’t like doing wrong things, so I will always conduct myself in the right way and do what I think is the right thing.

“Nine times out of ten it is.

“I just work as hard as I can every day, because when that opportunity arises I don’t want to look back and think I’ve not taken this because I’ve been sloppy.

“I always make sure I’m as fit and as ready as I can be, so when you get situations like Saturday, where Cadds unfortunately went off with an injury, I’m ready to play 40 minutes.

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“I was up to speed really quickly and managed to take my chance.”

The back-to-back performances have put forward a case for Long to keep his shirt when United resume their Sky Bet League One campaign at Portsmouth tomorrow.

Cadden’s hamstring strain was minor, but Robinson could play it safe and rest the Scot, with Long’s more defensive approach a useful asset at Fratton Park.

Long said: “We’re just working as hard as we can every day on what our game plans are for each team.

“Not every game plan is going to be the same, we just try to implement our style.

“We’re doing well at the moment.

“Long may it continue.”