Kevin Gallen column: How QPR can get the best from Charlie Austin
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In the first of his monthly columns for the Brent & Kilburn Times, QPR legend Kevin Gallen assesses the importance of Rangers’ wingers Junior Hoilett and Matt Phillips.
I have been to every single game at Loftus Road this season, and can honestly say that there is no other club like QPR.
There have been rumours about me returning in a coaching role, but I can’t really say any more than I already have: that I would be delighted to come back.
But I haven’t heard anything yet and have not spoken to Harry Redknapp, so we will see how it goes. I was there as a coach a while back, and I have missed it. I have worked at other clubs since, but of course it’s not the same.
Last season I was critical of QPR, as were many other fans, but when you look at what Harry has achieved this season, to have only dropped four points, it has been a tremendous start for us.
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The last two performances, in particular, have been encouraging. They say that it is the sign of a good side to be able to win when you’re not playing particularly well, and that is true in any league in the world.
We’ve had a few injuries to our wide players Junior Hoilett and Matt Phillips, and I think that has had an impact. You could see the difference Junior makes when he came on against Barnsley on Saturday. He got the ball out wide, took on the full-back and got the ball into the box, and Charlie Austin was there to finish it off.
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Charlie is what I would call a ‘bits and pieces’ player; he feeds off balls into the box. He gets a lot of his goals from crosses out wide so you need to give him the right deliveries.
He’s got that knack of judging the flight of the ball and being in the right place at the right time – and that’s a good knack to have.
There’s a bit of a similarity in the way I used to play, although I would link play a bit more, and he’s more of an out-and-out goal-scorer.
He likes to get the ball into his feet and I’m sure he’ll only get better for us. I think we’ll see him get more goals this season, but we need Phillips and Hoilett to be fit and playing.
Back in July, I and a lot of fans were worried, we still had the same players who didn’t care about our club. But Harry has shipped them out and brought in guys who are giving 100 per cent every single week. They are all great characters, but first and foremost they are all quality footballers.
At the moment we are grinding teams down, and while a lot of praise has gone to the defence and goalkeeper, and rightly so, a lot of credit has to go to the midfield too.
You can’t win games without keeping the ball, and they have been keeping possession really well.