CHARLIE Austin proved his Premier League credentials with a brace in QPR’s midweek Carabao Cup win over Everton in W12.
Ahead of facing West Brom at The Hawthorns in a crunch promotion clash on Friday night, Rangers overcame the top-flight Toffees on penalties on a breathless night in west London.
Speaking to www.qpr.co.uk, Charlie told us: “It was a proper cup tie, wasn’t it?
“Both sets of fans were brilliant – Everton sold out the away end and brought a buzz. The fans have been away for 18 months and we’ve missed them. Football is all about the fans.
“We dominated the first half and got the two goals – but Everton showed the quality they have when given just half a chance. Being a Premier League side, they can punish you.
“We started the second half slowly and they equalised. I think it was 50-50 after that. That being said, we’d have been disappointed coming away having not won the tie, to be honest.”
Austin’s goals were his second and third of the campaign respectively.
“I was in the right place, at the right time,” he said. “The balls came into the box and I was able to display movement to get onto them.
“It was nice to score – that’s been long overdue and hopefully that’s the start of many more goals to come now.
“The hat-trick just wouldn’t fall for me – I tried to chest a couple down but couldn’t bring the ball under control.
“So it went to penalties, Russian roulette – but we got there in the end!”
Similar to our first-round tie at Leyton Orient, the R’s netted every one of their spot-kicks to progress.
“There were some great penalties,” Austin said.
“Credit to the likes of Stephen Duke-McKenna, he’s a young lad and took the sixth penalty with plenty of confidence.”
Attentions now switch back to our league campaign, ahead of Friday’s trip to take on West Brom in the Sky Bet Championship.
Austin is adamant that he and his team-mates can fire in both league and cup.
“It’s [EFL Cup] a great competition – why wouldn’t we want to go far? I know there are plenty of games in the league for us, but you can rotate cleverly for the cup and the manager is doing it really well.
“We’ll take our chances against anyone. It’s a cup competition and anything can happen.
“We’re exciting to watch and I think it’s clear the direction the club is going in. It’s a long season, we know that, but we’ve got quality all over the squad and it’s an exciting time to be both a QPR player and fan.”
We’ve got quality all over the squad and it’s an exciting time to be both a QPR player and fan.