Belfast Telegraph

Ramsey hails Austin influence

QPR boss Chris Ramsey believes no player is more important for his team's survival hopes than striker Charlie Austin.

The 25-year-old has scored 15 times in the Premier League this season, with his goals earning vital points in the relegation battle.

"Charlie has been fantastic this season," Ramsey said. "His work rate is unbelievable.

"He has the uncoachable thing which is scoring goals."

Austin missed out on Roy Hodgson's England squad for the matches against Lithuania and Italy on Thursday, but Ramsey believes he deserves the same level of praise which has come the way of Harry Kane - who has scored 26 goals in all competitions for Tottenham to earn an international call.

"Even more so (because) he is in a team that is struggling at the lower end of the table and he has scored quite a few goals this season, so it goes to show that he is a quality player," Ramsey said.

"He will shine regardless of where he plays."

QPR's next match comes against Everton on Sunday, with the Toffees now the only English side left in Europe following Manchester City's exit at the hands of Barcelona on Wednesday evening.

City followed Arsenal and Chelsea out of the Champions League at the last 16 stage, but Ramsey believes the Premier League's shortcomings in the competition is merely a 'blip'.

"Manchester City did not have their best game," Ramsey said.

"But they all have gone out of the Champions League at a late stage.

"Not making it to the last eight is a blip for this country because over the past few years we have got to the latter stages, but now and again this happens.

"I still think this is the best league in the world and where everyone wants to really come and play. We can see that by the amount of overseas players and managers that we have in this league.

"I think the state of the game at the moment is healthy."

Ramsey was also asked about QPR director of sport Les Ferdinand's comments earlier this season about the lack of black and ethnic minority coaches at the top levels of the game.

"We've (Les and I) talked about it in the past," Ramsey said. "I've said it myself about institutionalised racism in the game and in society.

"The evidence is clear to see."


From Belfast Telegraph