Ferdinand backs Austin for England call-up

Les Ferdinand has added to the calls for Charlie Austin to be given a chance for England if the QPR striker maintains his current form.

Austin, 25, has scored six Premier League goals this season and his strike against Manchester City on Saturday was his fourth goal in three matches.

The former bricklayer, who was playing for non-League Poole Town just over five years ago, has emphatically answered those who questioned whether he would be able to cut it in the top flight.

And former Rangers and England forward Ferdinand, now head of football operations at Loftus Road, believes a call-up is inevitable if Austin keeps producing.

“If he continues doing what he’s doing, you can’t ignore goalscorers,” Ferdinand said.


Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Queens Park Rangers v Hull City - Loftus Road

Swindon: 65 games, 37 goals
Burnley: 90 games, 45 goals
QPR: 45 games, 26 goals

“If you look at England at the moment, scoring goals is probably the department we’re struggling in most.

“Charlie’s doing it, so if he can maintain what he’s doing in front of goal then he gives himself great chance.”

Ferdinand was himself plucked from non-League, joining QPR from Hayes in 1987.

Jim Smith, then Rangers manager, likened him to ex-England international Cyrille Regis.

But it was some years later, under Don Howe, that Ferdinand began to fulfill his potential.

He went on to play 17 times for his country and joined Newcastle in 1995 after an eight-year spell with the R’s in which he scored a total of 81 goals in 164 league appearances.

And Ferdinand insists he was always optimistic that Austin, who scored 19 goals for Rangers in the Championship last season, could also make a name for himself in the top division.

Ferdinand said: “It’s his first year in the Premier League and I heard a lot of people say he wouldn’t be good enough.

“I said ‘hang on a minute, you’ll spend £20m or £30m on a striker from abroad and when he comes here you’ll say he needs a year or 18 months to settle in the Premier League’.

“Charlie Austin’s not played in the Premier League yet, so why wouldn’t we afford him the same time span to develop?

“He’s doing great at the moment. He’s scoring goals and we all know that it’s imperative for a striker to score goals if you’re going to stay in this division – they need 15 or 20 goals.

“If you get the supply to him, he’s one of those old centre-forwards who are good finishers who will score goals.

“Charlie’s in that mould. He needs to get in the box and you need to get a supply to him. If you do that, he’ll score goals for you.”

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