Harry Redknapp has backed Charlie Austin to score the goals that will keep QPR in the Premier League after his match-winning brace against Aston Villa.
The 25-year-old scored in either half to secure a valuable three points which moves Rangers off the foot of the table and leaves Villa winless and goalless in their last five games.
Austin hit a half-volley after linking up with strike partner Bobby Zamora and swept home Eduardo Vargas’ cross after the break to prove the difference between the two sides.
Having followed an unorthodox route to reach the top flight the former Swindon and Burnley forward now has four Premier League goals to his name and Redknapp believes he has the ability to fire Rangers to safety.
“(They were) two great finishes for Charlie,” he told Sky Sports 1.
“I couldn’t be more pleased, he is a smashing lad, (an) absolute fantastic boy.
“He’s come out (of) the non-league scene, played down at Poole Town and Hungerford and God knows where he’s been around the lower divisions, and to be scoring goals in the Premier League is great for him.
“There’s no reason why he can’t go on and get a really good tally of goals this year.”
The victory is QPR’s second of the season and sees them move ahead of fellow newly-promoted side Burnley and just three points behind a Villa side who were once again bereft of confidence.
Having had a public spat with Adel Taarabt, in which owner Tony Fernandes felt the need to get involved, Redknapp will have been happy to see his side do their talking on the pitch and felt they were worthy of the three points.
”It was an excellent performance, I thought we did ever so well,” he added.
”They started to get a bit of the ball in the second half and dominate the possession but I felt when we changed it and we tightened up in the middle then suddenly we started getting hold of the ball and I thought we dominated then.
”We had a couple of great chances, we hit the post with Junior’s (Hoilett) shot, then it would have been a great goal for Vargas with great passing movement so overall I thought we well deserved the win.”
Taarabt is due to feature in an Under-21 league fixture against Swansea on Tuesday to improve his much-maligned fitness but Redknapp will now be looking ahead to a west London derby at Chelsea next weekend before welcoming champions Manchester City to Loftus Road.
For Villa boss Lambert the 2-0 reverse adds to their woes following their own difficult run of fixtures which saw them lose to Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City and Everton with an aggregate score of 11-0.
This would have been seen as a more winnable encounter but, despite his shot-shy strikers, it was at the back where Lambert felt let down.
“I thought the two goals we lost were really poor,” he said.
“I think that is the most we have had of the ball, possession-wise, but that is why I’m never one for stats. The main stat is putting the ball in the net and keeping it out.
“I thought we defended poorly for the two goals. We have got to be more clinical in the last third of the pitch but the two goals are disappointing because we had most of the ball.”
Christian Benteke is still working his way back to full fitness following a serious ankle injury and Lambert has full faith in his Belgian forward and his team-mates to end their near nine-hour run without a goal.
“I tend not to get them down on that,” he added.
“They will come out of the traps on Sunday (against Tottenham) and I know we are going to be alright in that department because when Benteke gets up to speed and, with (Gabriel) Agbonlahor, (Andreas) Weimann, (Charles) N’Zogbia and (Darren) Bent, there are guys there with goals in them and it will happen.
“My main concern tonight was we had that much of the ball that we had to score with it, but you have to defend when you are on top.”