Austin: I’d love to stay at QPR but want a crack at promotion

QPR striker Charlie Austin

Charlie Austin says he would like to stay at QPR – if the club are serious about challenging for promotion next season.

Rangers have been much improved since the striker was signed on loan from West Brom for a second spell at Loftus Road.

Austin and on-loan Fulham midfielder Stefan Johansen have helped lift the team into the top half of the table.

That has raised hopes that Rangers could be contenders next year if the current squad remains intact.

Austin turns 32 this summer, when his West Brom contract expires – although the Midlands club have an option to extend the deal by a year.

He is unsure what he future holds but is adamant he wants to be chasing promotion next season.

“I was brought in, the same as Stefan, to get the club out of the position they were in,” said Austin.

“Would I stay? Of course, but it’s got to be about ambition for the club to push on and have a go next year at getting promoted.

“Would I like to stay? Of course, if the opportunity is there. But it all comes down to what the club want to do.

“I want to have a go and be in a team that’s winning games of football – pretty much what we’ve been doing.

“I want to have a go at getting a team back into the Premier League and then who knows what happens after that. I want to be fighting with a team to get promotion.”

Austin has scored six goals in 17 appearances since his return to west London and 54 in 106 games for QPR in total.

He has recently endured a barren spell by his standards, scoring just once in his past seven outings.

And he will now miss three matches after being suspended for stamping on Nottingham Forest’s Ryan Yates.

But this time around his influence on other players – off as well as on the pitch – has been important.

“Of course I would have liked to have scored more than I have,” Austin admitted.

“But I’ve played a completely different part to my first spell. I’ve come back and seemed to have helped a little bit more.

“I’m a lot better as a player and a person and that’s probably what the club needed at the time.”