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Mark Warburton welcomes end of Charlie Austin goal drought in QPR win over Luton

Queens Park Rangers v Luton Town – Sky Bet Championship – Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium
(Image credit: Adam Davy)

QPR boss Mark Warburton was “delighted” to see Charlie Austin end his goal drought in the 2-0 win at home to Luton.

Chris Willock put Rangers ahead after a sharp counter-attack following a Hatters corner and Austin’s second-half header sealed the points for the west London side.

It was Austin’s first league goal in 11 matches – a run stretching back to August.

Jimmy Dunne nodded Willock’s cross back to the striker, who netted from close range.

Warburton said: “He’s a goalscorer and they love scoring goals and get frustrated when they don’t.

“The nature of the industry is that it’s a heavy shirt to wear sometimes, the striker’s shirt.

“His reaction after he scored that goal tells you everything about what it means to him to score for the club.

“I was delighted for him. It was pleasing for Charlie and the team. He wants to score goals and it gives him that adrenaline buzz.”

Luton certainly had chances before Austin netted Rangers’ second 10 minutes into the second half.

Elijah Adebayo missed an early opportunity to put them ahead and they later went close to equalising when Tom Lockyer’s header was cleared off the line and Kal Naismith headed into the side-netting when unmarked.

Warburton admitted: “It was an important second goal and gave us a bit of breathing space. It was a key goal.

“It’s three vital points and a clean sheet against a good team. But we have to recognise also that we gave away some opportunities by being loose.

“You can get punished for that in the Championship, but tonight we weren’t punished and got goals at a good time.

“We’ve got to keep working hard. We can’t ignore the fact that we gave chances away.”

Luton manager Nathan Jones said: “We had 16 shots and just three on target, which isn’t a good ratio.

“A lot of it is about composure. We’ve been as good as QPR in terms of scoring – we were level on goals with them – and we’ve had more chances tonight.

“QPR are one of the most fluent teams in the league and they had lots of play in midfield without really hurting us.

“We’re a good, aggressive side, go up against people and are brave and bold. We go toe-to-toe.

“But we’ve had proper chances and didn’t even make their keeper make a save.

“We’ve also got to defend better. We gifted them the first goal and for the second we should have stopped the cross and won a header.

“If you don’t concede then you’re asking QPR to do a lot more. Goals change games.

“But you have to give some credit to QPR because they were clinical.”