Puel not guaranteeing hot-shot his place

Puel not guaranteeing hot-shot his place

Claude Puel was offering Charlie Austin no guarantees over his place after the striker's brace in Saints' 3-0 defeat of Sparta Prague.

The former Burnley and QPR favourite proved to be decisive in the Europa League group match on Thursday as he scored twice, having won the penalty from which he gave them the lead.

Austin also had a header ruled out for offside and his movement and partnership with Shane Long was an impressive factor in only his second start of the season.

Despite Austin being among seven changes to the team that lost 2-1 at Arsenal on Saturday, manager Puel refused to guarantee he would start again when Southampton host Swansea on Sunday.

Asked if Austin had taken his chance, Puel - who had overseen his first win since his appointment - responded: "We cannot just think of 11 players. We have got to play every three days (throughout) September, October, November. It's not possible to have the same team.

"A good squad, a good team, is many players. It's important to keep an identity of the (way we) play and we can change the players because it's a collective.

"This is very important for all the players and it's not important for me what players start."