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Austin enjoying QPR quest

Charlie Austin is looking to fire Queens Park Rangers back to the Premier League, and acknowledges that Christmas could be crucial.

Last Updated: 12/02/14 at 11:52 Post Comment

Charlie Austin: Has helped to fire QPR to the top of the Championship table

Charlie Austin: Has helped to fire QPR to the top of the Championship table

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Billed as favourites for promotion before a ball was kicked, it comes as no real surprise to see Harry Redknapp's side perched proudly at the second tier summit.

They have, however, had to dust themselves down after what was a testing 2012/13 campaign and start afresh with a renewed appetite for success.

Austin was among those drafted in over the summer to help rediscover the Loftus Road spark, and the former Burnley striker is convinced that he made the right decision in linking up with Rangers rather than holding out for another Premier League offer after seeing a failed medical cost him a switch to Hull City.

He told Sky Sports: "When I first came in, the size of the club and the players here, I felt I had something to prove and to show them that I am a decent striker and I can score goals. It's well-documented my move to Hull falling through, so I went there and luckily enough I have got a nice return so far.

"It was the right move for me and to progress my career. Looking at it now, it's all worked out very well.

"If you look at the players, they are of Premier League quality and most, if not all, of them have played in the Premier League before and that's where they want to get back. That's what we're striving for this season.

"You hear so many stories about what happened last year. Obviously I can't comment on that because I wasn't there, but the team spirit at QPR at the moment is second to none and that's showing when we go on the pitch."

Tricky

QPR, who have already collected 12 successes this season, need to maintain their momentum through to the New Year, with a tricky festive schedule set to pitch them into action against fellow top-six hopefuls Leicester City, Nottingham Forest and Watford.

Austin said: "It's a big game coming up Saturday (against Leicester) and we've got a few big games coming up over Christmas. We're going to have to work hard and try to stay unbeaten.

"We go into any game wanting to win every game we play. If you offered us seven points out of the three games, I'm sure we would bite your hand off.

"If we can go into the game on Saturday - we're at home so we have to go at them - if we can go into the game and get the three points, top at Christmas, that will help us big time."

Much of QPR's success this season has been built on solid defensive foundations, with the club having collected 13 clean sheets from 20 Championship outings.

On that remarkable record, Austin said: "The back four, Greeny in goal, as well as the whole team performance, as long as we can keep that going, if you don't concede goals then you don't lose games.

"We have won a lot of games 1-0 so people have said that we haven't been scoring many goals but, for as many goals as we aren't scoring, if you look at that defensive record, it's second to none."

Goals

The back four have had to be on top of their game this season, with only 24 goals plundered at the opposite end of the field.

Austin admits it would be nice to see a few more chances fall his way, but he has already netted 11 times in all competitions this season and says collective success is more important than individual targets.

The £4million frontman said: "Hopefully I can double that mark by the end of the year and help QPR get promotion. But I don't set myself targets. Every time I get on the pitch I aim to score. Hopefully by the end of the season I will have a nice amount.

"This season is all about getting promoted for QPR and winning as many games as we can."

Redknapp is the man charged with the task of seeing the capital club over that particular line and Austin admits he is thoroughly enjoying life under a coach famed for his ability to bring the best out of those at his disposal.

He added: "You hear about him and how good at man-management he is. To play under him is brilliant and I've really enjoyed my time so far.

"You want to play under top managers. When he came calling and said he wanted to sign me, that was a big part of my decision."

Charlie Austin was talking to Sky Sports on behalf of Sky Bet, the Title Sponsor of The Football League.

For a wide range of match odds and specials on all Football League matches and a £5 free bet every week, go to skybet.com.

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