Charlie Austin delighted after double for Southampton against Everton
By Stephen Mills
Last Updated: 26/11/17 5:30pm
Charlie Austin admitted he had a point to prove to Southampton boss Mauricio Pellegrino after scoring twice in Sunday's 4-1 win over Everton.
The striker's previous eight Premier League appearances this season had all been as a substitute, but he took advantage of a rare start as he headed home Saints' second and third goals and picked up the Man of the Match award.
Austin has been behind both Shane Long and Manolo Gabbiadini in the pecking order at Southampton, but could not hide his delight after the stunning Super Sunday win.
When asked if he felt he had a point to prove, he told Sky Sports: "You could say so.
"For me, it was all about biding my time, working hard on the training pitch and today I got my rewards. More importantly we got the three points.
"We've got quality down both flanks. In the first half I hit the post from Cedric and I scored from two good balls from the left-hand side.
"We've got quality in the side, we just need to put the puzzle together now. Today we did it and that could be the first step going forward.
"It's the first 80 minutes I've played since Stoke in the first game of last season and I was blowing the cobwebs off my legs.
"I was delighted to get my first start of the season. I'm pushing forward now and can only look forward."
Pellegrino said Austin got the nod up front on Sunday after improving his work on the training pitch.
Sunday's win lifted Southampton into the top half of the Premier League and the manager said all of the club's forwards need to hit top form as they seek to climb the table.
"It's really important for us because we need all of them," Pellegrino told Sky Sports.
"I felt that Charlie was training much better than before. He had the opportunity, scored two goals and did really well for him and really good for us."
He later added in his press conference: "I decided to choose another XI, I decided other team-mates were better for those games or occasions.
"He has trained much, much better in the last few weeks and I think he deserved his chance. You have to be ready because you never know when the manager will need you to be ready.
"Sure, I spoke with most of them but when the manager chooses 11 players it is because I feel in that moment they are right to play on that day."