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West Brom striker Charlie Austin delighted for staff after Premier League promotion

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west brom striker charlie austin delighted for staff after premier league promotion

The moment West Brom learned they had clinched promotion to the Premier League, Charlie Austin’s thoughts turned immediately to the club employees who had spent much of the last four months fearing for their livelihoods.

Austin scored 11 goals in all competitions this season to help seal the second promotion of his career, as West Brom squeezed over the line with a 2-2 draw against Queens Park Rangers on the final day.

Reaching the top flight is worth about £170million but there is sober reality beyond those numbers. Having worked as a bricklayer until he turned professional in 2009 aged 20, Austin knows what life is like outside football and understands how the coronavirus pandemic has changed the lives of so many.

Charlie Austin was ecstatic for West Brom's club staff after winning Premier League promotion

Charlie Austin was ecstatic for West Brom's club staff after winning Premier League promotion

Charlie Austin was ecstatic for West Brom’s club staff after winning Premier League promotion

‘You are talking about people’s jobs,’ Austin, now 31, told Sportsmail. ‘Maybe we don’t need an extra masseur if we don’t go up.

‘Maybe we don’t need an extra physio, maybe we don’t need the chef next year or the same number of people in the ticket office. There were massive smiles on their faces at 10pm on Wednesday and that is what you want to do. They are hard-working people and they deserve this success.

‘As much as promotion means to the players, it means the world to these people.

‘For example, there’s a lady called Jean who works in the players’ canteen and due to Covid-19 I’ve not seen her since March. Win, lose or draw she was the same bubbly Jean with a big smile on her face every day. They are the people you want to celebrate with. We are a tight-knit club at West Brom and you get so much satisfaction from something like this.’

Austin said he was proud of how the players handled the pressure. ‘The highs are fantastic but there are many lows in football and you come across those times no matter how good you are. I left Southampton with a sour taste but when I got to West Brom I said I’d come for one thing: to achieve promotion.

West Brom squeezed over the line with a 2-2 draw against QPR on a dramatic final day

West Brom squeezed over the line with a 2-2 draw against QPR on a dramatic final day

West Brom squeezed over the line with a 2-2 draw against QPR on a dramatic final day

‘In the Championship with West Brom, teams want to beat you and there is pressure. It speaks volumes for the players that we handled it. Brentford were chasing us but when you’re chasing, there’s nothing to lose. Brentford had one game of pressure, which was the Stoke game (they lost 1-0 and missed the chance to leapfrog West Brom). We had it for the whole year.’

Austin, who signed for £4m last summer and has proved himself a reliable top-flight goalscorer with QPR and Southampton, revealed he had ordered the Albion bench to keep quiet during the final crazy seconds on Wednesday.

Manager Slaven Bilic, his staff and the substitutes were trying to tell the team to be cautious after learning Barnsley had scored late to go 2-1 ahead at Brentford, meaning a point was enough – but they risked confusing the players on a remarkable night in the Championship.

Thankfully for Albion, no damage was done, even though they had to wait for the final whistle at Griffin Park to be sure. The players celebrated in the dressing room and at the team hotel and were urged to savour the moment by Gareth Barry, who has more Premier League appearances to his name than any other player.

Austin said: ‘Gareth spoke in the changing room and said, “You’ve really got to enjoy these moments. You think they’re going to come constantly, but they don’t”.

Reaching the top flight is worth about £170million, a huge boost to the club's finances

Reaching the top flight is worth about £170million, a huge boost to the club's finances

Reaching the top flight is worth about £170million, a huge boost to the club’s finances

‘Throughout the season he was always giving little bits of advice. If you’re not using Gareth’s experience, then you’re a fool. You have to use that knowledge and dive into his football brain. When he speaks, you listen.

‘Towards the end of the QPR game the bench were shouting, “Barnsley are winning”, but it doesn’t take long to score a goal. So many instructions were being shouted by the bench and at a certain point I turned round and said, “Will you be quiet?” It was causing more confusion.

‘You do miss the fans giving you that extra 10 to 15 per cent. I spoke to racing trainer Richard Hannon and said it was similar to when he had a winner at Royal Ascot. You need what the fans bring.

‘We know what we need to do to stay in the Premier League. We’ve got some exciting young players and some who haven’t played there before who are going to grasp this opportunity.

‘I told those players that what’s about to happen will change their lives. It’s worldwide exposure. Maybe they will try to bring in a few additions but looking at our squad at the moment, I feel like we’ll go in and hold our own.’

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Antonio Rudiger left OUT of Chelsea squad for crucial title clash against Liverpool

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antonio rudiger left out of chelsea squad for crucial title clash against liverpool

Antonio Rudiger has not been included in today’s squad to face Liverpool – throwing his Chelsea future into doubt.

The Germany international is fully fit but manager Frank Lampard has not included the central defender in his plans to face the Premier League champions.

Rudiger was an unused substitute in the victory over Brighton on Monday night.

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Antonio Rudiger has been left out of the Chelsea squad for their match against Liverpool

The decision throws into question Rudiger’s position in Lampard’s plans for the rest of the season.

And with the transfer deadline due to close on October 5, Rudiger could become the subject of interest from rival clubs.

Rudiger has two years left on his contract, but Chelsea – as of yet – have not tried to renegotiate an extension.

Rudiger (left) was left out of the matchday by Frank Lampard (right) despite being fully fit

Rudiger (left) was left out of the matchday by Frank Lampard (right) despite being fully fit

Rudiger reportedly helped persuade Timo Werner to join Chelsea as the Premier League side pulled off a major coup in the transfer market. 

The RB Leipzig star agreed a deal to join the west London club in a £53million move, seeing off strong contenders Liverpool in landing the 24-year-old.

And fans believe that Rudiger, who plays alongside the striker for their country, Germany, may have had a helping hand in securing the deal.   

According to Bild (via Metro), those rumours seem to be true as the German outlet reported that Rudiger played a ‘key role’ in convincing Werner to join Chelsea instead of Liverpool.

The publication claims that the defender followed Werner’s decision-making closely and often gave him glowing reviews of life in west London. 

Rudiger and Werner have a strong friendship, having played in the youth set up for Germany as well as coming through together at Stuttgart. 

Rudiger is also believed to have helped the Blues sign Kai Havertz who joined the Chelsea this summer from Bayer Leverkusen in a £89million move and made his debut in the west Londoners’ 3-1 win over Brighton last Monday. 

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Newcastle vs Brighton LIVE: Stream, TV channel, score – Maupay quickfire early double puts Seagulls in command

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newcastle vs brighton live stream tv channel score maupay quickfire early double puts seagulls in command
BLOG NEWCASTLE VS BRIGHTON

NEWCASTLE are looking to make it two Premier League wins out of two as they host Brighton and Hove Albion.

Buoyed by new signings Callum Wilson and Jeff Hendrick, the Steve Bruce’s Magpies impressed on opening day with a 2-0 win at abject West Ham.

Visitors Brighton started with a spirited display at home to Chelsea on Monday, but ultimately ended up losing the game 3-1.

  • Newcastle vs Brighton is live on Sky Sports Premier League and Sky Sports Main Event.
  • Coverage on Sky Sports Premier League commences at 1pm – an hour before kick-off.
  • To stream the game live, head to your Sky Go account.
  • Non-Sky Sports subscribers can still watch all the action with a Now TV Day Pass from £9.99.
  • Newcastle XI: Darlow, Manquillo, Fernandez, Lascelles, Lewis, Hayden, Shelvey, Hendrick, Saint-Maximin, Carroll, Wilson.
  • Brighton XI: Ryan, Lamptey, White, Webster, Dunk, Connolly, Bissouma, Maupay, Trossard, Alzate, March.

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Hibernian 2-2 Rangers: Winning run for Rangers ends as unbeaten Scottish Premiership start continues

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hibernian 2 2 rangers winning run for rangers ends as unbeaten scottish premiership start continues

Rangers conceded their first goals of the Scottish Premiership season as Christian Doidge’s header held the table toppers to a 2-2 draw on Sunday.

Drey Wright ended the visitors’ remarkable seven-match run of clean sheets with the opener, only for striker Alfredo Morelos to fire an equaliser on the stroke of half-time.

Scott Arfield put Rangers back in front from close range after 57 minutes but a mistake by centre-back Connor Goldson allowed forward Doidge to head Hibs level.

Drey Wright (left) ends a slick team move to put Hibs ahead in the 22nd minute against Rangers

Drey Wright (left) ends a slick team move to put Hibs ahead in the 22nd minute against Rangers

Wright (left) becomes the first player to score past Rangers in their eighth game of the season

Wright (left) becomes the first player to score past Rangers in their eighth game of the season 

Striker Alfredo Morelos (right) blasts Rangers level from close range shortly before half-time

Striker Alfredo Morelos (right) blasts Rangers level from close range shortly before half-time

Morelos celebrates as Rangers cancel out Hibernian's early advantage on their way to a point

Morelos celebrates as Rangers cancel out Hibernian’s early advantage on their way to a point

Midfielder Scott Arfield (right) puts Rangers back in the lead after 57 minutes at Easter Road

Midfielder Scott Arfield (right) puts Rangers back in the lead after 57 minutes at Easter Road

Scotland's Arfield basks in the aftermath of finding the leveller his side had been searching for

Scotland’s Arfield basks in the aftermath of finding the leveller his side had been searching for

Christian Doidge (left) celebrates after earning a 70th-minute point for Hibs against Rangers

Christian Doidge (left) celebrates after earning a 70th-minute point for Hibs against Rangers

Rangers boss Steven Gerrard sees his side stretch their lead to a a point at the top of the table

Rangers boss Steven Gerrard sees his side stretch their lead to a a point at the top of the table

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