Austin injury caps Southampton misery

Southampton top scorer Charlie Austin is facing a spell on the sidelines after the Premier League club endured a miserable night in the Europa League.

The Saints only required a goalless draw or a win to secure their progress into the knock-out stages of the competition, but Israeli side Hapoel Be'er Sheva netted a late goal in a 1-1 draw at St Mary’s to eliminate the hosts.

However, there was more bad news for Southampton after Austin was forced off with a shoulder injury – a problem which the 27-year-old has suffered throughout his career.

"He has an injury with his shoulder, and I don't know how long he will stay out, but for the moment he is injured," said manager Claude Puel.

"It's a big disappointment tonight. It was a difficult game against a good opponent, who were always dangerous when they recovered the ball, but we had chances during the game.

"Just one mistake, one shot at the end – we lost the ball and it's a goal. It's very hard to accept this situation, and very hard of course for my players. It's a big disappointment for all the squad and the fans also.

"Tonight, all the words are difficult, but this is football.

"It's a big disappointment, because we gave it our all. It's very hard to be eliminated, but now it's important to have a good reaction from all the team."