Austin thrilled to be back

By SFC Media Mon 22 May Saints vs Stoke
Photo by Matt Watson | Charlie Austin

Charlie Austin was thrilled to have finally made it back into Southampton's starting line-up after more than five months out injured, as he featured in the clash with Stoke City.

The striker returned to the side for the final day of the Premier League season, having overcome the shoulder problem that had sidelined him for more than half of the campaign.

While Austin was disappointed the season ended in a 1-0 defeat, he was delighted to have got himself back on the pitch at St Mary's.

"It felt good," he said. "Five-and-a-half months is a long time. I've put a lot of hard work in with the medical staff to get back on the pitch and I really enjoyed it.

"I didn't realise how much I missed it. I was delighted to be out there, I've come off injury free and now hopefully I can go and have a good summer and be back ready for next year.

"I've worked hard over the five months. It's been an annoying injury, but you have to get it right and hopefully I've got it done now and it's gone out the way and I can just keep pushing on.

"Not being involved in the run to the [EFL Cup] final was tough, it was mentally tough for me and Virgil as well. We were both injured at the wrong time. No one likes to be injured, but we both had big injuries and have been out for a long time.

"You have to keep your spirits up, because it's a team game, and you don't want to come into work all doom and gloom. So my spirits are high.

"Unfortunately, we didn't come away with the win, but I've come away and I'm fit and I can go away now and have a good break with my family and come back ready to go in pre-season and hit the ground running."

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