Redknapp to rebuff any Austin bids

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Published: Sunday 21st December 2014 by The News Editor

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Harry Redknapp insists QPR will rebuff any January bids for Charlie Austin after the striker scored a hat-trick to seal victory over West Brom on Saturday.

With his side trailing 2-0 and being outplayed in every position, Redknapp again relied on the goalscoring prowess of the 25-year-old Austin – who did not disappoint as he moved onto 11 goals for the season to secure a 3-2 win and drag Rangers out of the bottom three at the same time.

All 17 of QPR’s points this season have been accrued at Loftus Road but it was the visitors who started well and looked on course to pick up their second successive win as Joleon Lescott and Silvestre Varela took advantage of lax Rangers defending to put the Baggies deservedly ahead.

But Austin pulled one back midway through the first half as he thrashed home a penalty after referee Craig Pawson deemed that James Morrison had pulled back Leroy Fer.

Two more goals followed in the second half for Austin and, although reports last week suggested he had turned down a new deal at the club, Redknapp was adamant there was no chance of the England hopeful being sold in the transfer window.

“If we sold Charlie Austin we might as well go home, you know what I mean,” said the Hoops boss.

“He’s here. We need Charlie to keep doing what he’s doing and he can’t afford to take his foot off the gas. I’m not saying he will do it but there’s nothing to top him going on and having a fantastic season. His target would be around 20 goals now with the way he’s going at the moment. It’s not impossible.

“He’s a goalscorer. He wants to score. He works hard, he’s got a great attitude. He isn’t a minute’s problem. There is no side to him – he ain’t lairy and gets on with it. He’s a lovely boy who’s been to work for a living and is now playing Premier League football.

“Goalscorers find a yard of space. It’s a knack – he’s in the right place at the right time. If you score 20 goals in the Championship this year you’ll score in the Premier League. It’s not rocket science, it’s that knack that people have got – they’ve been scoring goals since they were kids.”

Austin was one of four changes made by Redknapp from the 3-1 defeat at Everton having sat out the almost inevitable loss at Goodison Park through suspension.

Strike partner Bobby Zamora was also recalled and once again linked well with Austin – before warning the club that they need to tie the former Burnley man down to a new contract sooner rather than later.

“He’s got 18 months on his deal,” Zamora said.

“I think the club should be offering him something now because with the form he’s in, I don’t think it’ll be long before some big clubs make an offer and he may want to take that chance. For us, we need to keep hold of him.

“Chaz is a great asset for us and, fingers crossed, he can continue his form. He’s a great finisher with a great work ethic.”

West Brom boss Alan Irvine again went without his own top goalscorer Saido Berahino in west London, with club-record singing Brown Ideye selected as the lone frontman.

The Nigerian is yet to score a league goal for the Baggies but Irvine is hopeful his blossoming relationship with Varela and Stephane Sessegnon can soon produce results for his side.

“I think he’s progressing,” Irvine said of Ideye.

“He did a lot of good things. He had a good chance to score and probably should have done. But he is getting sharper and sharper, and better with each passing week. And I feel it’s only a matter of time before he gets his first Premier League goal.

“It’s a front three we’ve only been able to put together recently. Silvestre is similar to Brown, in that he missed pre-season and then got injured. But that three up front look like a handful, and we are quite pleased with how it’s developing.”

Published: Sunday 21st December 2014 by The News Editor

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