Southampton striker Charlie Austin has expressed his delight at his fine start to the 2017/18 Premier League season, having missed much of the previous league campaign with a shoulder injury.
The 28-year-old is back with a bang this season, and scored the winning goal with a last-gasp penalty in his side's thrilling 3-2 victory over West Ham United on Saturday afternoon.
Speaking to Southampton's official website, Austin discussed his return from injury, and his happiness with the recovery he's made. The former Queen's Park Rangers player stated:
"I want to stay fit this season, play as many games as I can and try to score as many goals as I can, and that's the main aim for me. I felt fit last year, I felt strong and I was flying.
Got to be honest was more nervous standing over a 4ft putt today than I was in the 92nd minute yesterday however it was the same out come 😂😂— Charlie Austin (@chazaustin10) August 20, 2017
"I was playing the best football of my career last year, up until I got injured, and that was a silly accident that happened, and that's part and parcel of football."
Austin started the 2016/17 brightly for the Saints, scoring an impressive nine goals in 21 appearances before succumbing to injury.
The powerful goal-scorer has experienced a rags-to-riches career - progressing from Wessex League Premier Division side Poole Town to Premier League football with QPR in just six seasons. Discussing his return further, Austin stated:
"I feel fit, I feel strong again and I'm just battling for the team, and trying to get involved in the team as much as possible, and help produce as many good performances and winners as I can."
The Saints have got this season's Premier League campaign off to a solid start, with a goalless draw to a gritty West Bromwich Albion preluding their 3-2 victory over West Ham last Saturday.
Mauricio Pellegrino will have big ambitions for his side this season, and will be itching to qualify for next season's Europa League. Clearly, Austin's goals will be imperative to this aim.