BY NICK KITUNO
Mark Warburton hailed Charlie Austin’s impact after Queens Park Rangers fought back from a goal down to stun promotion contenders Brentford at home.
The R’s trailed to Ivan Toney’s first-half opener but a quickfire double, first from substitute Sam Field and then Austin, sealed a priceless win.
The victory is their fifth in six games and lifts them to 16th in the Championship table, eight points clear of the relegation zone.
Warburton said: “I’m very pleased. I thought, in the first half an hour, we showed far too much respect to Brentford and we were a yard slow. They were the better team and we had to respond, we had to be better second half, and we certainly were.
“We committed bodies forward, made good decisions and the players deserved so much credit for that quality of response.
“We earned the equaliser, absolutely, after giving away an awful first goal. I’m delighted for Charlie, and delighted for Sam of course, but I’m delighted to see Charlie Austin with another good finish and a really important three points.”
Field replaced the booked Dom Ball just before the hour mark and put QPR on level terms with 18 minutes to go. Rico Henry’s clearance from a cross only fell as far as Field, who was just inside the penalty area to fire in a low drive.
Soon after, Todd Kane’s crossfield pass found opposite full-back Lee Wallace who teed up Austin for a deflected finish after 76 minutes.
Brentford responded by throwing bodies forward to at least salvage a draw but QPR held on in the end.
Austin and Brentford boss Thomas Frank appeared to exchange words at full-time, however, Warburton was not drawn too much into it.
He added: “Listen, it’s a local derby with emotions running high and Charlie Austin has scored the winner late in the game. It’s never going to be nicey-nicey. Someone might not agree with the way he conducted himself, Charlie is a top-class pro and it means a lot.
“It means a lot to Charlie, it means a lot to the team, it means a lot to our supporters and everyone involved with QPR.
“Thomas and Charlie, they shake hands and move on from here.”
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