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'We must counter Austin threat'
KEEPING Charlie Austin quiet will go a long way to keeping Swindon Town in tonight’s cup tie, according to Robins manager Mark Cooper.
Austin, who arrived at QPR from Burnley this summer following two-and-a-half years at Turf Moor after his switch from Wiltshire, is likely to line up against the club that gave him his start in professional football this evening for the second time in as many seasons.
The 24-year-old scored as Burnley were beaten 3-1 by Town in the third round of the League Cup last term and Cooper knows if they don’t cut off his supply early on tonight, Swindon are going to be punished.
“He’s a goalscorer, plain and simple,” he said. “He was probably born one. If you get a number of chances then you’re in trouble. Whether they’ll rest him I don’t know.”
Cooper is unsure how QPR boss Harry Redknapp will approach the game - with Rangers’ main goal for the season promotion back to the Premier League.
“It’ll depend how seriously they take it,” he said. “Sometimes Harry might think about gambling for promotion and not being too serious about the cup.
“If they do rest a few then that might give us a chance.
“You have to be really well-organised, you have to give the players as much information as you can about what the other team are going to do and then prepare and plan for that.”
Cooper may be forced into rotating his squad with a number of players - including Nile Ranger and Alex Pritchard - still working their way to full match fitness.
“We’ve got to decide how much we change, who we’re going to change and to make sure we’re not changing it just for the sake of it,” he said.
“We’ve got players who have not done a lot of pre-season training and are probably at more of a risk of injury if they play another 90 minutes.
“They’re the ones we’d be looking to rotate. We’ll see how they are and we’ll pick the best team we can on Tuesday.”
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