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Euro 2016: Belgium's Courtois warns of threat from Ireland's long

Football Soccer - Euro 2016 - Belgium Training - Stade de Bordeaux stadium- Bordeaux, France - 17/6/16 - Belgium's goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois makes a save during a training session. REUTERS/Sergio Perez
Football Soccer - Euro 2016 - Belgium Training - Stade de Bordeaux stadium- Bordeaux, France - 17/6/16 - Belgium's goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois makes a save during a training session. REUTERS/Sergio Perez

BORDEAUX, France (Reuters) - Belgium goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois has warned his team mates to be wary of Ireland striker Shane Long when the two countries meet in Euro 2016 on Saturday.

“He is strong, quick and very good with his heading. I think he is as good as any of our strikers,” warned Courtois, who Long scored past when the striker's Southampton side lost 2-1 to Chelsea in February.

Courtois, who was beaten twice in Belgium’s opening game when they lost to Italy in Lyon on Monday, was critical of several of his team mates and the overall tactical approach following that game. At Friday's pre-match news conference, he maintained that some players did not perform at their best against Italy.

“I think only that some individuals did not exercise their functions well," he said.

"But you have to keep learning. I think tactically we stood our ground against Italy. We just need to be more efficient in delivering a knockout blow. That was our problem in the warm-up matches also."

(Reporting by Mark Gleeson; Editing by Toby Davis)

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