QPR manager Mark Warburton has insisted that Charlie Austin will be able to re-find his goal scoring form for the R’s and also praised him for being an influential presence around the squad.
Austin has endured a difficult start to his second spell as a permanent QPR player after he was signed from West Brom in the summer following a loan spell with the R’s in the second half of last term.
The forward has managed to so far register only one goal for the R’s in the Championship in his 12 appearances. That came during QPR’s 2-2 draw at home with Barnsley back in August. He has not been helped by Warburton putting him in and out of the starting line-up so far this term in the league.
The 32-year-old did manage to score twice for QPR in the League Cup as well this term, but he also missed a crucial penalty for the R’s in their penalty shootout defeat against Sunderland.
The recent form of Lyndon Dykes and Andre Gray means that Austin is finding life difficult in terms of forcing his way into the side on a consistent basis.
However, Gray is potentially set to miss out on the Rs’ meeting with Blackpool through injury so that could give him a chance to feature.
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Speaking to West London Sport, Warburton suggested that he is confident that Austin can re-find some form in the final third and start to get back to his best in-front of goal.
He said: “Charlie is tremendous around the place and his standing in the squad is well set.
“He is a striker, they have streaks. Lyndon Dykes didn’t score for about 21 games last season, then once he did he couldn’t stop.
“That is the industry strikers are in. Charlie was definitely frustrated after the Peterborough, Sunderland and Forest games.
“But I thought when he came on the other night for Andre early in the second half at Cardiff he was he outstanding.
“He adapted to the pace of the game quickly and showed his experience in helping the side get back into shape when we attacked.
“I thought he delivered a really good 40 minutes.”
Austin is a player that has proven time and time again what a threat he can be in the Championship. The R’s have already seen the best in him in his previous spells and there is therefore no reason to believe that his recent lack of goals has been down to anything other than just a dip in form that all strikers go through.
The forward has the quality to provide the finishing touch to chances in the final third as he showed last season in his loan spell from West Brom. He needs consistent game time to get into a run of form and if Warburton can afford him that chance then he will be able to make an impact this term.
It is all about confidence you sense with Austin and if he could find a way to end his goal scoring issues in the Championship then he could well manage to go on a positive run of scoring form.
Getting Austin back firing could make the difference for the R’s as it would provide them with another major threat upfront alongside the in-form Dykes.