Football: New Saint Austin will not be rushed back into action, says Koeman

Southampton manager Ronald Koeman insisted Austin's arrival does not signal the end of any of his other forwards.
Southampton manager Ronald Koeman insisted Austin's arrival does not signal the end of any of his other forwards.PHOTO: REUTERS

(REUTERS) - Southampton's new signing Charlie Austin was still recovering from a hamstring injury and the striker will not be rushed back into the starting eleven, manager Ronald Koeman has said.

The 26-year-old had not played for Queens Park Rangers since mid-December owing to the injury but had returned to training with the Hoops.

Austin scored 10 goals in 16 appearances for the second-tier side in this campaign before completing his reported four million pounds (S$8.2 million) switch on Saturday.

"I hope (he will bring) goals because that's the reason why he was and is our target for the transfer window. I think we need a player like him," Koeman told British media.

"On Monday and Tuesday we will do tests about his fitness. Then we will know how fit the player is, whether he is close to being part of the team or if he needs more time to be 100 per cent."

Koeman insisted Austin's arrival does not signal the end of any of his other forwards. Graziano Pelle, Shane Long and Sadio Mane all have been linked with moves away from St Mary's Stadium during the January transfer window by the British media.

"It gives more competition and what we try to do always is make the squad stronger and stronger. Signing that kind of players is very positive," the 52-year-old manager said.

Fresh from last weekend's 3-0 Premier League win over West Bromwich Albion, Southampton, who are 10th in the table, travel to face fifth-placed Manchester United on Saturday.