Charlie Austin admits he could have left Southampton better but rejects any claims he doesn’t like the club.
The striker departed the club on deadline day in August 2019 after being left out of Saints’ pre-season tour and training with their kids.
Shortly after signing for West Brom, he accused Southampton of showing him a lack of respect.
He told Sky Sports, per Team Talk: “I am 30 years old. I felt like I needed to be treated with respect.
“It is easy to say the club has got to do this and that and they have got to look after themselves. Then you wonder why players sit back and go ‘this is fine with me’, if you are going to treat me like that [then] no problem.
“The other side is the outside world think [the player] gets this and gets that money and they should… [But] sometimes the club has got to look at it and go, ‘you have given him this, it is not their problem’. This is your problem. This is on you.
“Sometimes you have got to hold your hands up and say that is up to you. I look in the mirror and can say I did nothing wrong.
“For six weeks at Southampton I trained with the under-23s, with [coach] Radhi Jaidi, gave them no trouble and trained with them every single day and that was it.”
The episode has left a sour taste in the mouths of Saints fans, with one accusing Austin of disliking the club when debating about the team’s recent form.
Austin responded on Drivetime: “It’s no dig, I’m just giving my opinion on the football club and their situation now. They’ve had one point out of a possible 27 and been beaten 9-0 in consecutive seasons. Do you think that’s good enough?”
He shed further light on his messy departure from the south coast club later in the show, admitting he would have preferred to have left in better circumstances but says he doesn’t have any hate towards the club.
Austin added: “Should I have left better? Yeah, of course.
“But sometimes it doesn’t always end in handshakes and all that kind of stuff… that’s what it is.
“Do I wish I could’ve said goodbye to the canteen lady that was there for three-and-a-half years? Of course I do. The receptionists, the security staff, of course!
“But that’s football. Football moves on so it is what it is. My opinion on Southampton is what I believe. It’s not vengeance against them or anything like that. There’s no hate towards them, that’s a ridiculous statement.”