Charlie Austin backs Southampton to avoid relegation
Last Updated: 14/02/18 9:25pm
Southampton have a good enough squad to avoid relegation from the Premier League, says injured striker Charlie Austin.
The 28-year-old had scored five goals in seven games before tearing his hamstring at the end of December.
Southampton are in the bottom three having won just one of eight Premier League games without him since.
Austin told Sky Sports News he is still around five weeks away from returning to first-team action, but has backed his team-mates to pull Southampton out of trouble.
"My gut says we've got a good enough squad to stay in the Premier League but I'm under no illusions that in the Premier League you're given nothing," he said. "We need to perform now."
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Surviving relegation may be decided in Southampton's next five matches, according to Austin, with the club facing a tough run of fixtures towards the end of the campaign.
"We don't want to go to the last day of the season against Manchester City, so hopefully we can get the points we need," said Austin, who admitted his World Cup chances are probably over due to his injury setback.
"You can't wait on other results, you need to get the wins and that's the most important thing for us."
Claude Puel was sacked as Southampton manager following an eighth-placed finish last season, but Austin believes removing an under-pressure Mauricio Pellegrino is not the answer.
"It's easy to turn on each other, pointing fingers, blame the manager, blame the board," he said. "We don't want any of that, we need to stick together.
"As players sometimes you've got to look at yourselves, in house, are we not doing the right things?
"I understand where the fans are coming from but they said this about Claude Puel last year and look what happened.
"We've got to get sustainability at the club. That's how it used to be but first and foremost we need to stay in the Premier League."
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