Southampton defender Maya Yoshida has spoken of his happiness to see Charlie Austin back in contention following his return from injury.

Speaking to the club’s official website, Yoshida spoke of Austin’s importance ahead of the run-in towards the end of the season and highlighted Saints’ issues in an attacking sense in recent months.

I think it’s really helpful. I was disappointed when I was changed after 75 minutes at the Emirates Stadium, but I was soon appreciating him! He had a really difficult moment for a long time, so as a friend I am really happy for him, and as a teammate I am happy he is back.

Yoshida has also suffered with injury throughout the course of the campaign and has only recently returned to full fitness. He has started in the 3-2 defeats against Arsenal and Chelsea in recent weeks.

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Austin made his return in the game against West Ham and following this, came off the bench to net Saints’ second in their defeat at Arsenal.

Maybe this season we haven’t scored a lot, but that has not only started this season. It had already started in the second half of last season.

Yoshida was also quick to touch on Saints’ defensive woes of late, insisting that the team need to collectively work to rectify the many problems they have encountered this season.

If we don’t score the goals, we cannot get the points. But if we cannot score three goals in every game, we have to defend better. We need to be better in our defensive organisation.

The Japan international will hope to start against Leicester City on Thursday evening.