Puel: Austin can feature

By SFC Media time Sat 20 May Saints vs Stoke
Photo by Naomi Baker | Charlie Austin

Claude Puel says striker Charlie Austin will play some part in Sunday’s season finale at home against Stoke City.

Saints’ top scorer only returned to action this month after being sidelined since December with a shoulder injury.

He made a late cameo in last weekend’s 2-1 win at Middlesbrough, before being an unused substitute in the 0-0 draw with Manchester United in midweek.

Puel has revealed that the forward, who scored nine times in the opening half of the season, should be involved at some point on Sunday.

"We will see,” he said. "I won’t give the starting players, but Charlie can play in the game on Sunday.”

Puel agreed it was unfortunate that, like another influential player in Virgil van Dijk, Saints have had to do without Austin for so long.

"We know we have had a lot of problem with injuries,” he said. “It was difficult, but it was interesting also, because we can see other players in these places.

“For example, the injury of van Dijk meant we saw Jack Stephens and Maya Yoshida together.

“They have improved fantastically, and it’s a good thing for the future.

“I tihnk many players have worked very well this season, with new international players like Nathan Redmond and James Ward-Prowse. All this shows the good work for these players all season, and this is interesting for the future."