The Saints chief is under pressure to continue pitching the 27-year-old into his starting line-ups for Premier League and Europa League games because of his excellent run of form, which has seen him score seven goals in his last six games in all competitions.
However, Puel spoke out following Austin’s brace against Burnley in Sunday’s 3-1 win at St Mary’s to insist that he can’t play every game, hinting that he will not face Inter Milan at the San Siro on Thursday in Europe.
The Frenchman told the Daily Echo: “It’s important he don’t play all the games with the team because after it is an injury and it’s important we don’t lose Charlie. It’s important we develop every time and we keep a good physical level for every player.
“Charlie is not an endurance player, it’s important to keep him and his qualities and we can change every time the team since many games.
“For example, in September we got good results with this, and it’s important we can see not just some players but all the squad have a good answer.
“It’s important to respect all the squad because it’s not possible for me for the players to start every three games.”