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Austin to show no mercy
CHARLIE Austin admits he owes his success in football to Swindon Town – but has vowed to show no mercy as he makes his first return to his old club with Burnley tonight.
The Clarets travel to Swindon in the third round of the Capital One Cup and much of the attention will be on Austin’s return to the club where he scored 37 goals in 65 games before making the £1.2m move to Turf Moor in January 2011.
His exit came with slight controversy as he made the decision at the time to hand in a transfer request, but the 23-year-old is still expected to get a good reception and admits his career could have been very different had he not made the decision to leave.
And, although he is looking forward to seeing old friends tonight, he is determined to continue a fine scoring run of nine goals in eight games this season by firing Burnley into the last 16 of the competition.
“It was hard to leave at the time but it ended up being the right decision,” said Austin, who was given his first opportunity in the Football League with Swindon after being signed from Poole Town.
“Unfortunately I then ended up getting injured and doing my shoulder, and I was out for the rest of the season.
“If I did that at Swindon and things went the way they did and Swindon got relegated, I would have been a League Two player and not a Championship player. “In my first season as a Championship player I scored 16 league goals.
“You can say I owe Swindon, and obviously I’m grateful to them.
“But I took my chance and I got sold from there and moved to Burnley Football Club. Now I’m a Burnley player and I’ve got a job to do.
“It will be special, but I’d like to score two or three against them and put Burnley into the next round.
“Every time I go on to the pitch at the moment I feel confident enough to put the ball in the net and score, so this will be no different.”
The Clarets are expected to make some changes to the side that won at Derby on Saturday – their first away points in the Championship this season – as they prepare for their weekend game at home to Millwall.
But Austin still believes they will have enough talent to secure a result against the League One side now managed by Paolo Di Canio.
“Regardless of changes there’s enough quality, we’ve got a quality squad if we go down there,” he said.
“We just need to get the result.
“I’d like to think I’d get a good reception, it would be nice.
“But regardless of what reception I get, as a professional you try to block that out and do your stuff on the pitch.
“It will be a tough game, there’s been a big change-around there.
“They’re a massive club and they’ll be up there again in League One.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if next year they are a Championship club. That’s what they are aiming for.
“There are only three players left from when I was there, so to be honest I’ll be going there and it will be more the background staff if anything.
“But I’ve got to go there regardless of if I’m playing against friends and do a job for Burnley.”
And Austin is hoping to hit double figures tonight in the fastest time during his professional career so far.
Asked when he lasted would have reached 10 so quickly, he said: “I think I was playing for Poole Town, I’m not too sure.
“When I was at Swindon I got injured then I got on a run after I was out for five weeks.
“So I think this would be the quickest if I was lucky enough to get there.
“I’ve got to thank the lads for their service to me and their all-round game. It’s not just me.
“We’ve got the quality in our side to be up there this season.
“Obviously the run of results we had was unfortunate but the first away win from home on Saturday was what we needed.”
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