AUSTIN POW­ERS Channon: Char­lie’s got the old-school hunger... just feed him the ball!

EX­CLU­SIVE

Sunday Mirror - - PUZZLES - BY STEVE STAM­MERS

MICK CHANNON be­lieves ‘throw-back’ striker Char­lie Austin can build Southamp­ton a brighter fu­ture.

Saints leg­end Channon saw the south coast side put Ever­ton to the sword last week­end with Austin scor­ing twice in six siz­zling sec­ond-half min­utes.

“They gave him the ser­vice, didn’t they?” said Channon, who scored 157 times in 391 league ap­pear­ances dur­ing his ini­tial spell at Southamp­ton be­tween 1966 and 1977.

“You give that boy the ser­vice and he will get goals.”

Channon (right) – one of Bri­tain’s most suc­cess­ful race­horse train­ers – wants to see more of the same when his beloved Saints go to Bournemouth to­day.

Channon said: “What Austin proved to me was that you need to for­get all this tippy-tappy foot­ball be­tween the de­fend­ers.

“They are the hod-car­ri­ers and it drives me mad see­ing them just pass the ball to each other. It makes the game so slow. What’s the point?

“You want it to be quicker, played with more pace. They need to get it up to Char­lie Austin – and when they get the de­liv­ery right, he shows what he can do.”

Channon is still idolised at Southamp­ton, and has sea­son tick­ets at St Mary’s Sta­dium. In two spells at the club, he scored 228 goals all told – and re­mains the Saints’ record scorer. He also got 21 goals for Eng­land in 46 ap­pear­ances, and is hugely im­pressed by Austin. Channon added: “He is a throw­back striker, like Mickey Quinn and Ted MacDougall.

“They come alive in the penalty area. But they need the ball.

“Austin showed against Ever­ton what he can do.

“Yes, you can blame de­fend­ers for giv­ing him the chances to head the ball home like he did. But Austin must take credit for the runs he made and the tim­ing of them.

“I know he has had his in­jury prob­lems and he has only re­cently been fit. But he showed what an as­set he can be. He is a bit like Rickie Lam­bert a few years ago.

“Out­side the area, he doesn’t do that much. But in the area is where he does his job. Lam­bert got goals – and Austin will get goals.”

Channon has sym­pa­thy for Ital­ian striker Manolo Gab­bia­dini who has scored just seven times in 23 league matches for the Saints.

“Strik­ers need the ball up to them, and up to them quickly. That has not been hap­pen­ing,” said Channon. “I feel for him a bit be­cause of that.”

Channon is hop­ing a high-tempo ap­proach, so ef­fec­tive against Ever­ton, will be repli­cated against Bournemouth.

He said: “They are a good team who like to get peo­ple for­ward. It could be a really de­cent match.” But Austin holds the key. “I like his way of go­ing about things,” said Channon. “He is no-non­sense. He has come up the hard way, through the ranks. He has de­sire, you can see that.

“He was a labourer on a build­ing site and now he is play­ing in the Premier League.

“I just want the hod car­ri­ers be­hind him to get him the ball.

“He is the brickie now, not the labourer.” » Bournemouth have just one win in their last nine league meet­ings with Southamp­ton (W1 D2 L6). » There hasn’t been a draw in the last eight league clashes be­tween these sides at the Vi­tal­ity Sta­dium.

POINTS TO MAKE Char­lie Austin is putting his in­jury woes be­hind him

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