CHARLIE Austin has admitted that he “jumped at the opportunity” to join Championship side West Brom.

The striker left Saints on deadline day after spending pre-season banished from the Staplewood dressing room and training on his own.

His £4m move to the Baggies brought an end to all the speculation surrounding his future on the south coast, having previously been linked with Sheffield United and Aston Villa.

Speaking to the official West Brom website, Austin said: “It was a project that I wanted to be a part of.

“I have seen that the manager is here and with the staff and the players that he has brought in and the players that are already here it was something that as soon as the opportunity came that I jumped at.

“It is a project that I want to be a part of and their goal this year is to get promotion and I want to be a part of that.

“Many years ago you would see West Brom for what it is and you see now the new manager has come in and they are trying to turn it completely around.

“New players have come in and with the squad they have already got here it only bodes well for the future.

“As a centre forward you are known for your goals, that is what it is. There was only one team that scored more than Albion last year.

“I have come here to play. There’s no point saying that I haven’t. I have come here to start and hit the ground running, score goals and help the lads and everyone involved with the club.

“It’s all about me getting a run of games and I fully believe in myself, the manager has belief in me and I think when the time comes most of the lads will as well.”

Austin’s West Brom career got off to a dream start as he netted against Millwall on his debut, although his goal couldn’t prevent them being knocked out of the Carabao Cup.

The 30-year-old lasted 60 minutes before manager Slaven Bilic decided to take him off due to his lack of pre-season training.

Despite fans voicing their displeasure at the substitution, the former West Ham boss admitted the rotation was planned beforehand.

Bilic said: “The start was perfect, but he didn’t play at all in pre-season. I spoke to him before the game and I said maybe 45, maybe 60.

“He felt good. It was a night game, so it wasn’t hot or whatever. Sixty minutes was enough. It was the plan, it could have been dangerous to have kept him on.”