Ex-Clarets striker Charlie Austin shares his thoughts on Burnley’s chances of Premier League survival!

Former Burnley striker Charlie Austin is confident the Clarets can avoid relegation from the Premier League this season.

Austin, who played 82 games for the Clarets between 2011 and 2013, scoring 41 goals, believes his former club have the quality needed to avoid the drop down to the Championship.

Sean Dyche’s men currently sit in 18th position in the top flight on 21 points. Everton are a place and a point above, despite their mauling at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium during the week, though Frank Lampard’s side also have a game in hand.

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However, Austin, who now plays for Queens Park Rangers, told Mybettingsites that he is confident the Turf Moor outfit can stay in the Premier League with 12 games left to play.

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 16: Charlie Austin of Southampton (C) scores their first goal during the Premier League match between Southampton and Burnley at St Mary's Stadium on October 16, 2016 in Southampton, England.

During his interview, Austin said: “I do think Burnley will stay in the Premier League again this season. Every year you wonder if they are going to go down, but they always find a way to get out of it.

“You look at the results they have had recently and they have certainly been better, but they are currently in a situation which is a proper relegation battle. They need to get out of it, but I see them getting out of it, I really do.”

The 32-year-old, who also played for Southampton and West Brom before returning to Loftus Road, believes the team in real danger of heading for the Championship are the Toffees, who suffered a humiliating 5-0 defeat to Spurs, which was their third outing on the bounce without scoring.

Austin continued: “I think there could be a real big surprise this year in terms of a team who are going to go down this year that nobody at the start of the season would have envisaged being relegated.

BURNLEY, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 26: Charlie Austin of Burnley battles with Anthony Gerrard of Huddersfield Town during the npower Championship match between Burnley and Huddersfield Town at Turf Moor on February 26, 2013 in Burnley, England.

"I think Everton are bang in trouble. Frank Lampard needs time, but Spurs toyed with them and I think Jamie Carragher’s assessment of Everton’s back-four was very fair and very true.

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“Whether people want to agree or not, it is honest. Frank needs time, but I did think bringing Rafael Benitez in at the beginning of the season was a terrible appointment.

"It was never going to work, you never had the fans on side and indeed they were only ever going to be on side if they went on a run of games unbeaten and that was the only way he was going to turn that round.

“That didn’t happen and they’ve now got 13 games to go and whilst there’s a lot of points still on offer, they need to pick up a lot of points to get out of the situation they are in.”

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 16: Charlie Austin of Southampton scores their third goal from the penalty spot during the Premier League match between Southampton and Burnley at St Mary's Stadium on October 16, 2016 in Southampton, England.
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Austin is also a massive horse racing fan and has enjoyed success over the years in racehorse ownership with the likes of Another Batt. The prolific marksman is relishing this year’s Cheltenham Festival meeting and is excited for the return of crowds at the track.

He said: “Sadly I won’t be able to go to the Cheltenham Festival this year. We play Nottingham Forest on Wednesday night and we won’t be back till 3am in the morning so it will be me and the wife [Bianca] watching at home.

“It’s going to be a massive Cheltenham Festival this year. It has been a massive sporting event for years. Unfortunately, everybody watched from home last year, but I thought ITV and Racing TV did a brilliant job in terms of their coverage. It really gave you that insight, but to have the crowds back, I know as a sportsman myself, it will just bring that extra bit of buzz.

“My NAP of the Cheltenham Festival is Run Wild Fred in the National Hunt Chase and my Next Best is HMS Seahorse in the Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle.”