CHARLIE Austin admitted he had been at a loss to explain why Cherries supporters gave him grief.

The former Poole Town striker netted Southampton’s equaliser in today’s 1-1 draw at Vitality Stadium.

His fourth goal of the season came four years to the day since he scored for QPR in a 3-0 win over Cherries at Loftus Road in the Championship.

Austin was taunted by a section of home fans throughout the Premier League clash and responded by celebrating his goal in front of the Ted MacDougall Stand.

Eddie Howe had two attempts to sign Austin blocked due to the club’s Football League transfer embargo in 2009, the player having spent six weeks training with Cherries.

He subsequently joined Swindon before Howe finally got his man when he made Austin his first signing just days after leaving Cherries for Burnley in January 2011.

Austin also had informal talks with Cherries regarding the possibility of signing following their promotion to the Premier League in 2015.

Asked about the stick, Austin told the Daily Echo: “I’m not too sure why.

“It has been a long time and I didn’t sign for the club.

“If things had been different and they hadn’t been in the situation they were then I would have signed. It wasn’t my fault.

“Eddie and Jason did everything they could to sign me and I would have.

“Like Eddie said in the week, he couldn’t stand in my way and I will forever be grateful to him for letting me go and giving me the chance he did.”