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CHAR­LIE AUSTIN branded the off­side de­ci­sion which scup­pered Southamp­ton against Watford a “joke”.

The Saints hit­man ap­peared to put Mark Hughes’ strug­glers 2-0 up in the 67th minute – only for the of­fi­cials to rule Maya Yoshida had in­ter­fered with play.

That brought a fu­ri­ous re­sponse from Austin af­ter­wards and a sting­ing at­tack from his un­der-fire boss Mark Hughes.

Austin said: “We scored a per­fectly good goal that was ruled out for off­side.

“The of­fi­cials cost us two points. They said it was off­side, that is a joke.

“Peo­ple go on about VAR, they clearly need help. If this is the best, most-watched league in the world, then give them all the help they need. It’s ridicu­lous.”

Hughes, still look­ing for a first home win this sea­son af­ter the clash fin­ished 1-1, was equally harsh as he tore into rel­a­tively new top-flight ref Si­mon Hooper.

The Saints supremo said: “We’ve been given

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