English Premiership

Charlie Austin relishing relegation fight

2018-03-23 09:23
Charlie Austin (AP)

Cape Town - Southampton striker Charlie Austin is ready to help his team retain their Premier League status after recovering from a hamstring injury.

Austin scored five goals in seven games before tearing his hamstring against Huddersfield in December, but recently returned to training to hand new Saints manager Mark Hughes a big boost in the battle for survival.

The south coast club are third from bottom in the Premier League and face West Ham in their next match when the action resumes after the international break.

"It's been a frustrating time. It wasn't like being out for two weeks; it's been 14 weeks now," Austin told the club's official website.

"I was in such good form and that was the hard thing, because I would have had to bide my time for ages to get in. Whilst that was going on, as a team we were underperforming and that's why we're in the situation we are.

"Now I'm back, we have got a big eight weeks and I will put all my energy into helping the team drive forward to stay in the Premier League.

"It's good to have that light at the end of the tunnel and this is the last tick in the box. It's great to be back with the lads."

The 28-year-old marksman is adamant the Saints have the quality to avoid the drop and called on his team-mates to take the challenge head-on.

"You have got to embrace it, as men and as footballers," he added. "We are under a lot of pressure at the moment, don't get me wrong, but we need to push forward.

"I feel there is enough character, talent and work ethic, and with the new coaching staff coming in with new ideas, it's going to really help us."

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Crystal Palace v Leicester City, Selhurst Park 16:00
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