Southampton striker Charlie Austin has revealed that his injury heartbreak last season has spurred him on as the new Premier League campaign begins this weekend.
Austin’s first full season at St Mary’s was cut short after he dislocated his shoulder in the Europa League clash with Hapoel Be’er Sheva last December. The striker missed out on Saints’ EFL Cup final defeat to Manchester United and only returned to action for two Premier League cameos before the domestic campaign ended in May.
It was frustrating because it was just a freak injury, really, so I had to knuckle down
After hitting nine goals before his season-wrecking injury, including five in four games in September, Austin is now hoping to begin the new season with a similar bang, starting against Swansea City on Saturday.
“I was doing really well and had nine goals before the start of December,” the 28-year-old told The Big Issue. “I couldn’t have really asked for much more. Then I obviously got the injury and it was frustrating because it was just a freak injury, really, so I had to knuckle down.
“Any injury as a professional footballer is not good. But with me being older and having the injury before, that definitely helped me in dealing with it.
“I was delighted for the lads to go on the run they did and get to the cup final, but mentally for me it was tough. But that’s part and parcel of being a footballer and I think I dealt with it in my own way – it’s as simple as that.