Mauricio Pellegrino began the month of December with a local derby, as the Saints travelled along the south coast to visit Premier League outfit AFC Bournemouth, who have struggled any form of late.
Southampton, on the back of a narrow 2-1 defeat to Manchester City midweek, would have been eager to grab the three points against the Cherries, but an opener from the hosts courtesy of Ryan Fraser dealt a massive blow in the team's hopes.
Luckily, fan favourite Charlie Austin was on duty in the second-half to find the back of the net to ensure at least a point went back to St. Mary's this weekend in the lead up to the hectic festive schedule in a couple of weeks.
The striker netted his fourth of the season and third in as many games, swiftly becoming Pellegrino's first choice attacker amongst the lacklustre form of Manolo Gabbiadini and Shane Long.
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“I’m in the team to score goals''
Austin has reacted to his recent goal scoring form and whether he'll be able to carry that on in the next few matches as Southampton prepare for outings against four of the Premier League's top six, but first of all, focused on his contribution to the draw at the Vitality Stadium.
“Luckily enough that’s what I’ve been doing – unfortunately we didn’t get three points today," the striker said, "but it’s a point away from home and we’ve got some big games coming up. It’s been a good week.''
The 28-year-old found the net twice last Sunday at home to Everton on the Saints' way to routing a 4-1 triumph and his role in the starting line-up has been highlighted via his ability to find the goal.
Austin is already two thirds to matching his tally of the 2016/17 top-flight campaign - netting six in the league last term and is well on way to surpass that number this time around with more than half the season remaining for Southampton.
''We deserved something out of the game.''
Despite having scored the equaliser within the first 15 minutes of the second-half, Austin remains frustrated he was unable to capitalise on other opportunities within the game against Bournemouth; “I could’ve had two, maybe three – I should’ve scored the header and there was another one when if Ryan’s (Bertrand’s) cross had found me then I would’ve made it 2-1.''
“I’m just trying to score as many goals as I can and I know I can do it.''
Pellegrino will most likely be eager to remain with his in-form striker to continue leading the line for the visit of Arsenal to the south coast next weekend as he'll be hoping to solidify the club's place in the top ten and potentially push for a Europa League spot.
In looking towards the future, Austin is keen to strengthen his game,
“Now I feel I’m getting a lot of momentum behind me and I feel confident every time I go out on the pitch. I’m a goalscorer and that’s what I love to do.”