QPR 3 West Brom 2: 'Charlie Austin is in right place at right time, and going nowhere else,' says Harry Redknapp

Austin has only 18 months left on his deal at Loftus Road

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The Independent Football

For Harry Redknapp, there was no question at all about Charlie Austin’s future. Austin had just struck a hat-trick – taking him to 11 Premier League goals this season – securing another crucial win for Queen’s Park Rangers as they beat West Bromwich 3-2 on Saturday.

But Austin has only 18 months left on his deal at Loftus Road and is attracting interest from elsewhere. While Redknapp said he “does not got involved with contracts”, he was adamant that Austin would not be going anywhere.

“If we sold Charlie Austin we might as well go home, if you know what I mean,” Redknapp said. “He is here. We need Charlie to keep doing what he’s doing and he can’t afford to take his foot off the gas.”

Rangers have offered Austin a new contract on improved terms and must hope he signs it soon. His achievements this season have been remarkable. Only Diego Costa and Sergio Aguero have more Premier League goals, and Austin has a rather different background.

QPR signed Austin from Burnley for £4m in the summer of 2013. Before then he had played for Swindon Town in League One and Poole Town in the Wessex Premier League, which he combined with bricklaying work.

 

But now Austin is looking like a perfectly natural Premier League goalscorer. He scores all types of goals – on Saturday the first was a penalty, the equaliser was a tap-in and the winner was a classic leaping header from a corner. With 11 goals after less than half of the season, there is no reason why he should not aim for 20.

“I’m not saying he will do it, but there’s nothing to stop him going on and having a fantastic season,” Redknapp said. “His target would be around 20 goals now with the way he’s going. It’s not impossible.

“He’s a goalscorer. He wants to score. He works hard, he’s got a great attitude. He isn’t a minute’s problem. There is no side to him – he isn’t lairy, he gets on with it. He’s a lovely boy who’s been to work for a living and is now playing Premier League football.”

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Charlie Austin bundles home his second goal

Redknapp, who signed Austin last year to try to get QPR back into the top flight, was not surprised by just how well he has done. “Goalscorers find a yard of space,” he said. “It’s a knack. He is in the right place at the right time. If you score 20 goals in the Championship, you will score in the Premier League. It’s not rocket science. It’s that knack people have got, they have been scoring goals since they were kids.”

The West Bromwich  manager, Alan Irvine, spoke positively about his big-name centre-forward, but Brown Ideye is unlikely to have quite as successful a season as Austin. The club paid Dynamo Kiev £10m for Ideye in the summer but he is yet to score in the Premier League for them.

“I think Ideye is progressing,” Irvine said after seeing his team take a 2-0 lead but lose the match. “He did a lot of good things today. He had a good chance to score and probably should have done. But he is getting sharper and sharper, and better with each passing week. And I feel it’s only a matter of time before he gets his first Premier League goal.”

Ideye, as Irvine explained, missed pre-season and then sustained an injury which has impaired his settling in at West Bromwich. But there were moments of promising link-up play between Ideye and support forwards Stéphane Sessègnon and Silvestre Varela.

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Charlie Austin heads in his third goal to win the game for QPR

“It’s a three that we have only been able to put together recently,” Irvine said. “Silvestre is similar to Brown, in that he missed pre-season and then got injured. But that three up front look like a handful, and we are quite pleased with how it’s developing.

“Sess is playing well, doing a lot of work for the team and creating chances. It’s great to have Varela, who is something different for us and has got great experience. We will accentuate the positives from this game, of which there were a lot, and we will tidy up on things we didn’t do so well.”

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