QPR are only out of the top flight drop zone on goal difference, and Glenn Hoddle has told talkSPORT their key striker must stay fit if they intend to stay in the Premier League.
The West London club have won just one of their last nine games, and the departure of Harry Redknapp has done little to slow the passage back to the Championship. Having only been promoted to the first tier of English football last season, fans may have hoped that Rangers were preparing to start a long stay in the Premier League, but that dream looks over.
The main bright spot of the R’s campaign has been striker Charlie Austin, who has netted 14 times in just 23 games. He is only three strikes behind Sergio Aguero in the Premier League top scoring charts, and he has been staking a rightful claim for a place in the next England squad.
Austin’s goals have totalled an incredible 52% of QPR’s entire tally for the campaign, and his importance to the side has been noticed for all to see. There is no doubt that the former Burnley man will have to keep scoring if the R’s intend to fight off relegation to the second tier, and former QPR coach Glenn Hoddle believes that Rangers must keep the 25-year-old fit to ensure they stay up.
Speaking to talkSPORT, Hoddle, who left Loftus Road following Redknapp’s departure, said: “We all agreed from the start of the season that it was going to be tough job. There are five or six teams that knew it would be nip and tuck right until the end.
“QPR have enough ability to stay out of the bottom three. They’ve got to keep Charlie Austin fit though. They’ve also got to keep 11 players on the pitch.”
If QPR do follow their likely path and are relegated to the Championship, it could prove to be a hard task to fight for their place back in the top flight, with Austin likely to leave the club for one of many interested Premier League clubs.