SOME strikers seem to have that nack of scoring against certain teams.
For Clarets marksman Charlie Austin that team is Southampton.
The 22-year-old’s predatory 54th minute opener in the 1-1 draw against the Saints on Saturday was his fourth against the Hampshire club in as many outings.
His first came in a 1-0 victory at St Mary’s during a prolific spell for Swindon Town in March last year, he then scored for the Robins in a 3-0 triumph in the Johnstone Paint Trophy that August and one more in a 1-0 victory in League One at the County Ground in September.
“I like playing against Southampton, I’ve scored four in four and I haven’t lost against them,” said Austin. “It’s always nice to keep the record going. It felt good. Against Southampton it just seems to click for me.”
That strike was his sixth goal of the campaign in all competitions, and he feels he’ll get more as his partnership with Jay Rodriguez continues to flourish. Although Rodriguez hasn’t got a league goal to his name to date, the pair have already notched up 11 goals between them in domestic competitions.
“I don’t set myself targets, I just go out there every week and give 100 per cent and try to give myself the maximum opportunity to score goals,” he said. “I work off Jay and Jay works off me. We’re good friends off the pitch and I do believe that helps because if we didn’t like each other I wouldn’t run that extra yard for him and he wouldn’t run that extra yard for me.”
Now, following the high level of performance against league leaders Southampton, Austin is urging his team-mates to keep that momentum going in hope of climbing the Championship table. The Clarets currently languish in 21st but that’s not a parameter for Burnley’s end of season credentials according to Austin.
“I thought we deserved three points, the lads are gutted to be honest, we should have had our first home win,” he said. “The lads were great and so were the fans, obviously it’s a big help for us when they get behind us like that and create that atmosphere. And we performed well on the pitch.
“We’ve shown everyone what we can do but we can’t just do it against the big teams, we need it against the lesser teams as well. Consistency is the main thing. If we can make Turf Moor like that, with the fans like that, we can do it week in week out and push on right up the league.”
Asked about whether the top six was a realistic ambition he added: “We shouldn’t be down in the position where we are. But if we can do what we did today and everyone was on top form, if we can do that all the time then I don’t see why not. We haven’t had the rub of the green at the moment but as soon as we do we’ll be straight up at the top.
“Pundits say what they think but we can go under the radar by winning and just creeping up that table. It’s not being ambitious to be honest, it’s where we want to be. That’s the belief we’ve got in the changing room and we’ve got the talent to be up there.”
But at the moment the Clarets hitman is just happy to be getting himself in the right places at the right time: “Jay hasn’t scored a league goal but his all-round game’s unbelievable and he set up my goal. Jay did a great knockdown and obviously I was first to react.
“I don’t think I’ve scored many professional goals from outside the 18-yard box, I’m just always in the right place at the right time.”