Making his European debut, Southampton striker Charlie Austin admitted it was “a special night” after netting a double in his side’s opening match against Sparta Prague in the Europa League.
The Saints defeated the Czech Republic outfit 3-0 at St Mary’s Stadium thanks to Austin’s brace – which included a penalty – as well as a stoppage time goal from Jay Rodriguez to put the result beyond doubt.
“It’s a special night for me,” Austin told BT Sport after the match. “More importantly it was all about the win for us.
“Not only in this competition but to get the lads’ spirits up because we’ve not had the greatest of starts in the league but we knew if we put a performance together the win would come and luckily enough tonight, it did.”
The 27-year-old also explained that he would like to be the team’s permanent penalty taker, after he had an argument with Dusan Tadic as to who would accept the responsibility.
“As a centre-forward I think I should take the penalties, I’ve come here full of confidence, even though I’ve not scored,” Austin continued.
“I put the ball on the spot and luckily it gave us a 1-0 [lead]. I think it was a bit silly from me and Dusan but I’ll take the penalties in future.”