English Premiership

Austin defends Pellegrino despite relegation scrap

Charlie Austin (AP)
Charlie Austin (AP)

Cape Town - Southampton striker Charlie Austin has a gut-feeling that they will avoid the drop despite sitting in the bottom three ahead of Saturday’s clash with Burnley.

The Saints have only won once in their last 14 Premier League matches ahead of the clash with the Clarets, and dropped into the relegation zone with last weekend’s 2-0 loss to Liverpool.

"My gut says we've got a good enough squad to stay in the Premier League but I'm under no illusions that in the Premier League you're given nothing," Austin said. "We need to perform now.

"We don't want to go to the last day of the season against Manchester City, so hopefully we can get the points we need.

"You can't wait on other results, you need to get the wins and that's the most important thing for us."

Austin, who is currently side-lined with a hamstring injury and is expecting to miss another five weeks, also spoke in defence of manager Mauricio Pellegrino, saying his dismissal is not the answer to their current malaise.

"It's easy to turn on each other, pointing fingers, blame the manager, blame the board," Austin added, with six goals from 16 league appearances to his name this season.

"We don't want any of that, we need to stick together. As players sometimes you've got to look at yourselves, in house, are we not doing the right things?

"I understand where the fans are coming from but they said this about Claude Puel last year and look what happened.

"We've got to get sustainability at the club. That's how it used to be but first and foremost we need to stay in the Premier League."

Kick-off is at 17:00.

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