Southampton fans demand Charlie Austin is given a start after hat-trick

Southampton striker Charlie Austin scored a hat-trick as his team beat Fulham 5-1 in a friendly match at Staplewood on Thursday, and Saints fans are urging manager Mauricio Pellegrino to give the out of favour star more game time in the Premier League.

Despite the fact that the 28-year-old is a renowned goalscorer and the south coast outfit have been struggling to find the net – they have scored just nine goals in 11 top flight matches this season – Austin has only featured for 103 minutes.

Manolo Gabbiadini and/or Shane Long have been preferred up top, even though the latter is without a goal for his club since February.

Southampton supporters were quick to have their say on the centre-forward’s latest impressive performance via social media, and while one said “maybe now he will get the start he deserves”, another said it’s “funny what he does when not sat on the bench”.

Here is just a selection of the Twitter reaction…