Niko's 'mixed emotions' after League debut

YOUNG QPR defender Niko Hamalainen admitted to ‘mixed emotions’ after making his full league debut for the R’s in Saturday’s 1-0 defeat to Sheffield Wednesday.

The Finnish youth international played his first full 90 minutes in the Sky Bet Championship, but despite a game of fine margins, it wasn’t to be for Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink’s side, who lost a tight encounter 1-0, with Gary Hooper scoring the only goal of the game for the Owls.

Speaking exclusively to www.qpr.co.uk, Hamalainen said: “It was a dream come true to make my first league start for QPR.

“Of course it was disappointing to lose the match, because I felt we deserved more from the game.

“But to make my first league start at a stadium like Hillsborough was special for me personally.

“I just want to continue to try to impress and see where it takes me.”

Like his manager, Hamalainen felt aggrieved with the full-time scoreline, commenting: “We controlled the first half until they scored and that’s what’s really disappointing.

“In spells we were the better team. I really believe that.

“The manner in which we conceded though was really frustrating – it was a miss-hit that fell into the path of Hooper, who finished well.

“On another day it might not have gone that way and we could be talking about a different result.”

Hamalainen was one of three Academy products in Saturday’s matchday squad and he praised Hasselbaink for giving youth a chance, commenting: “The gaffer has shown he is willing to play us – the younger players.

“We all want to impress and I thought I did well.

“I defended first and foremost, pushed on when I could, completed my passes.

“The only frustration is that we didn’t get what we deserved from the 90 minutes.”

It was a dream come true to make my first league start for QPR.

Niko Hamalainen
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