QPR’s Niko Hamalainen talks ‘lucky’ Watford, and beating Paul Pogba in Paris
QPR’s Niko Hamalainen has said that his side deserved all three points yesterday, drawing 1-1 with Watford in the Championship, after the Finnish international had faced Manchester United’s Paul Pogba over the international break.
Ben Wilmot gave Watford an early lead and it would last until half-time. It was a poor first-half from Watford and the general feeling was that QPR had held their own, and deserved to at least be level at the break.
They would be level on 77-minutes when Ilias Chair finished, owing to a Lyndon Dykes assist from the bench.
Speaking to qpr.co.uk after the game, Hamalainen insisted that Rangers deserved all the points:
“Sitting on the bench in the first-half, it looked like we gave them too much respect. We weren’t at them as much as in the second-half.
“Defensively, we were very resilient in the second-half. Then going forward we created four or five chances, and I thought we unlucky not to get all three points.
“As a fan, you could probably have seen that we deserved all three points, but obviously a point is what we got today.”
The point for QPR keeps them in 18th-place of the Championship table, and Watford in 5th.
Hamalainen is fresh form international duty as well – he featured for Finland in their 2-0 win over France over the international break.
Speaking about that night at the Stade de France, he said:
“I knew about the fixture months beforehand…When I got called up I thought ‘I actually might play against the world champions’, and against world class players – it was an unbelievable feeling.
“We didn’t know who France were going to play until we got the stadium and got to the changing rooms, and when I saw the players on the board, playing against Sissoko and Pogba and all these players, seeing there bench as well, I was thinking; ‘this is where I want to be'”
It’s been a slow start to the new season for Mark Warburton and QPR and the pressure is starting to show through with every bad result.
Yesterday’s performance was a good one and worthy of all three points, but for a lapse in concentration early on gifting Watford their only goal of the game.
Hamalainen came on in the second-half and had a positive impact – the Finland international has taken a while to make his imprint at QPR but this season, he’s proving an important player.
QPR next host Rotherham United in midweek.