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West Brom's Charlie Austin full of praise for Hal Robson-Kanu

Penalty king Charlie Austin believes Hal Robson-Kanu deserves credit for the way he has forced his way into Albion’s starting XI.

Hal Robson-Kanu of West Bromwich Albion celebrates after scoring a goal to make it 3-1 (AMA)
Hal Robson-Kanu of West Bromwich Albion celebrates after scoring a goal to make it 3-1 (AMA)

Austin has been the Baggies match-winner in two of their last three games with the striker netting last-minute penalties against both Sheffield Wednesday and Preston.

In recent weeks, though, the 30-year-old has found himself on the subs bench with Robson-Kanu starting as a lone front man.

After a series of impressive cameos, the Welshman has gone on to net five goals in his last eight outings.

And Austin is pleased his team mate is playing so well, even if they are rivals for a starting spot.

“Hal has been fantastic – not just in the games he’s started but also when he’s come off the bench he has been top drawer,” Austin said.

“He is a great outlet, holding the ball up and scoring goals.

“As a striker you always want to score goals and Hal is certainly doing that now, helping the team go forward up the pitch.

“He is a top player and deserves all the success he is having so far.

“But it’s not just that. You should see how hard he works.

“He is a top player and more importantly a top human.”

After winning 44 caps for Wales, Robson-Kanu retired from international duty in August 2018.

But speaking last month, the forward left the door open for a potential return to Ryan Giggs’ squad.

And Austin believes Wales would be lucky to have him back.

“He is certainly still good enough to do that,” the former QPR striker continued.

“I see it day in and day out.

“If he goes back to play for Wales, I have no doubt he will be in the first squad for sure.”

Meanwhile, Austin says being confident and having belief in your own ability is the secret to tucking away penalties in the 90th minute.

“You’ve just got to be confident, have belief in your ability, make your mind up and go for it,” the forward said.

“Against Sheffield Wednesday the keeper went the right way but it was right in the corner and if you hit a penalty sweet enough the keeper isn’t getting them.

“Against Preston I took three steps again and I didn’t look up once.

“I just saw where he was and rolled it in – and that was it.

“It happens. You need big players for that. It was the 89th minute but that is what I am there for.

“We’ve got a lot of games coming up over Christmas and we just have to keep ticking them off, that’s all we can do.”

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