Charlie Austin beat coronavirus and is now eager to return to action with Prem-chasing West Brom – The Sun

STRIKER Charlie Austin fought off coronavirus and says his next challenge is to beat the lockdown blues – by helping West Brom return to the Premier League this season.

The Baggies star self-isolated in March after his temperature soared to 39.7C – but could not be tested at the time.

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Since then antibody tests, carried out last week, confirmed the 30-year-old did contract the Covid-19 virus.

Yet Austin insists he is ready to play behind closed-doors, if English football follows Germany’s lead in returning to action.

“Our goal is to get promoted. It’s been our goal since pre-season, it’s been our goal since Christmas time,” said the former Burnley, QPR and Southampton striker.

"Fans give you a five or 10 per cent boost. But they can still kick you where it hurts when they give you negative chants. There are going to be advantages and disadvantages.”


“Nothing has changed for us whether there will be 25,000 people in the stadium or 300 people.

“We have played in empty stadiums for the under-23s or in pre-season games. If I am honest with you the bite is not there, but that is because there is nothing on those games.

“When you know there are three points on the line – and those three points are for a league where you have already played 37 games – it’s different.

“These games will still be on the manager and if you don’t win it still goes against you.”

Slaven Bilic’s side has led the Championship for much of this season and were hard on the heels of leaders’ Leeds, roared on by a passionate support, when football was put into cold storage.

But Austin is willing to sacrifice playing in soulless stadiums if it means leading Albion back to the Premier League.


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“Fans give you a five or 10 per cent boost,” he said.

“But they can still kick you where it hurts when they give you negative chants.

"There are going to be advantages and disadvantages but if that’s what it takes to get the season done, then so be it.”

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