Queens Park Rangers were left with a share of the spoils on Saturday afternoon after battling out a frustrating, but otherwise, entertaining draw against Reading in the Championship.
It means Mark Warburton’s side have lost just one of their last five league outings, though he should be concerned as usual talisman, Charlie Austin, was way off the pace on the day.
The 31-year-old veteran, on loan from West Brom, has been enjoying life back at Loftus Road having scored five times in 23 appearances. However, against the Royals, he was anonymous, lightweight and rather poor.
As per SofaScore, Austin was Warburton’s lowest-rated player, bringing him a 6.4. Only one other started from the 22 on the pitch managed to be graded worse.
He just could not get into the game whatsoever. The 6 foot 2 striker was hauled off in the 65th minute after making only 25 touches – the lowest of any QPR starter. Even Geoff Cameron, who played a good 20 minutes fewer than Austin managed to match that number, and goalkeeper Seny Dieng (36).
Austin also made just nine passes – that’s just one every seven minutes and was comfortably the worst return of any player on the pitch.
West London Sport were particularly scathing in their review, grading him as QPR’s lowest-rated outfield player, They wrote: ‘Missed two presentable chances in the first half and was loose in possession far too often.’
Indeed, it is hard to argue with that.
In addition to that, Austin even lost five of his eight duels (62.5%), both on the ground and in the air, meaning more often than not he was beaten all ends up by the Reading defence – only adding to his, and probably Warburton’s, frustrations.
It’s no wonder he was hooked with just under half an hour to play. He badly let his manager down, and will need to improve substantially after the international break to keep his place, with Macauley Bonne waiting in the wings for that golden opportunity.