Austin: Fernandes played key role in QPR return

Charlie Austin says Tony Fernandes was the driving force behind his return to QPR.

Austin made a dream second debut on Tuesday with the opening goal in a 2-0 win at Luton as Rangers sealed a first victory in 11 matches.

The club were edging towards signing veteran Brighton striker Glenn Murray to bolster their struggling attack last week.

However, former chairman Fernandes, who has largely stepped away from day-to-day involvement but maintains a close relationship with Austin, told director of football Les Ferdinand and manager Mark Warburton that the crowd favourite would be open to a loan move from West Brom.

“I have to thank West Brom for allowing me to come back and be closer to home. Tony Fernandes pulled up stumps to make it happen,” said Austin.

“Without him pushing it on I don’t think it would have happened.”

QPR striker Charlie Austin
Austin averages more than a goal every other game for QPR

The 31-year-old, who scored 48 goals in 89 appearances in his first spell at QPR, played for an hour against the Hatters and showed he’d lost none of his penalty box instincts with a close-range header from a corner shortly before half-time.

“It was not a bad start for me and given the amount of press I have had this week, it had to be,” Austin said, referring to the social media adulation from the club that greeted his second coming.

“Rob Dickie said to me he has been making that move all season at corners. I come for half an hour and the ball drops there.

“It was great for me and it was a great team performance – 2-0 is a solid away win for the lads and hopefully we can kick on.”

One-man show?

The dressing room Austin has been welcomed in to is a complete contrast to the first one he first experienced in 2013, when there was a a bevvy of experienced big-hitters such as Joey Barton, Clint Hill, Richard Dunne, Niko Kranjcar and Bobby Zamora.

But he believes there is enough talent at the club this time around to succeed.

“It’s a good young squad, very different to when I first came here last time – a little bit inexperienced,” he said.

“But you can only get experience by playing and winning games.

“I said to them after the Fulham game on Saturday that if any of them want to speak to me, ask me any questions, they can do so at any time.

“My voice can be annoying but on the pitch I think that is what is needed.

“If you string a few wins together in the Championship you can really move up the table.

“I’ve come to succeed but it can’t be a one-man show.

“The lads know they were just coming up a bit short, couldn’t get the ball in the back of the net, and if I can bring that and confidence to the squad then we can get away from the position where we are in.”