CHARLIE Austin has hailed the impact of Nathan Redmond after the England international set-up his equalising goal in the 1-1 draw at AFC Bournemouth.

Redmond was brought on at half time for James Ward-Prowse and lifted Saints after going in 1-0 down at the break, following Ryan Fraser’s opening goal on 42 minutes.

Austin, who is now Saints’ four-goal top-scorer, slotted in Redmond’s cut back to level and, in turn, salvaged a vital point for the visitors.

“Nathan’s a good pro,” the 28-year-old said. “He came on at half time and changed the game in our favour.

“It put a bit of pace in the team and went forward. He was a real part of us pushing forward and getting that assist for the goal and creating chances for us to go and win the game.”

“The first-half we were a bit sluggish and went in at the half 1-0 down and rightly so,” he added.

“But second half we put in a good performance and looked the stronger team second half and, if anything, we looked like we were going to snatch it.”

Austin’s goal, his third in two starts, was greeted with a negative reaction by the Cherries support in the Ted MacDougall Stand at the Vitality Stadium.

The former QPR man used to play nearby at Poole Town and in 2009 nearly signed for Bournemouth.

However, a transfer embargo meant he couldn’t join the Cherries and ended up at Swindon Town instead.

“I’m not too sure why,” Austin said, when asked about the Bournemouth fans’ reaction to his goal. “It’s not my fault, if anything I was going to sign here.

“Eddie (Howe) and (assistant manager) Jason (Tindall) did everything they could to sign me and I would have signed.

“But like he (Howe) said during the week, he couldn’t stand in my way and I'm forever grateful for letting me go and giving me the chance he did.”

“I’ve got family here, but it’s not strange,” he said, when asked what it was like to score against a club he’d previously had a connection with.

“I never signed for the club. If things were different and they weren’t in the situation they were in, then I would have signed for them.

“But, for me, whoever I score against I like to score goals. That’s what I’m in the team for.”

Austin, who eventually signed for Eddie Howe at Burnley in 2011, is now enjoying being back as the centrepiece of Saints’ attacking arsenal.

The £4m striker made his second start of the season at the Vitality Stadium, having spent the early part of this season as an impact substitute.

He was first in the starting 11 in the 4-1 win over Everton last week, but was then rested in the 2-1 defeat at Manchester City, before being reinstated at the Vitality.

“I’m delighted and more importantly putting in big performances for the team and scoring the goals,” he said. “Like I say, I’ve always had the belief and confidence in myself I will score goals. And going forward we’ve got a big period coming up. We know Christmas time is big.”

“I feel good. I’ve got more momentum, more game time and I’m helping the team,” he added.

“The manager knew what he was doing midweek. He pulled me in and told me what was going on.

“As a striker you want to play, you want to keep scoring goals, putting in performances for the team and luckily I’m doing that at the moment.”