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."