Austin makes his mark against former Burnley team mates


LONDON (Reuters) - Burnley needed no reminder of Charlie Austin's talents but got it anyway on Saturday after their former hero set up one goal, scored the second and was then sent off in a vital 2-0 home win for Queens Park Rangers.

Austin, signed from Burnley for four million pounds ($6.23 million) last year, looked a bargain in the basement battle that hauled Rangers out of the Premier League drop zone for the first time since September.

His eighth goal of the season made him the league's top English scorer and lifted some of the pressure off manager Harry Redknapp, with QPR moving up to 17th on 14 points.

Burnley -- promoted with QPR this season -- are 19th on 12 points, one behind Hull City but two clear of Leicester who play at Aston Villa on Sunday.

The 76th minute red card, just two minutes after Austin had scored, followed a second yellow for scything tackles against players he still counts as friends and who could easily have left Loftus Road with a win.

"Charlie's scored again which was great for us," said Redknapp with a shrug. "It's just one of those things. He was trying to get back and defend and put a shift in. He's not at all a nasty type of player."

While Austin might make most of the headlines, it was goalkeeper Rob Green who kept QPR in the game with vital stops in the first half.

"Rob Green made a couple of world class saves at vital times," said Redknapp. "He was excellent, fantastic."

"I said (at half time) we've got to sharpen up otherwise we are going to get beaten today. And I felt we sharpened up from the first whistle of the second half."

Rangers have yet to score a point away this season but their home form at least has held up.

"We should have won here against a couple of teams that are way above us." said Redknapp. "We were leading Man City, and we were definitely unlucky not to beat Liverpool here.

"We lost to Hull in the first game of the season, missed a penalty with five minutes to go. We've been very good at home, just need to pick up a couple of points away from home."

(1 US dollar = 0.6417 British pound)

(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Justin Palmer)

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