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Niko Hamalainen keen to prove his worth to Angelo Alessio at Kilmarnock

QPR defender Niko Hamalainen is eager to repay Kilmarnock manager Angelo Alessio’s belief after signing for the Ayrshire side on loan.

The former Chelsea and Italy assistant manager has long been an admirer of the Florida-born Finland international, who has signed a season-long deal.

The 22-year-old told Killie TV: “The manager spoke to Les Ferdinand at QPR and that’s the first I heard about the option of coming over to Kilmarnock.

“I spoke to the manager here and he supposedly came to QPR last December and saw me train for a day or two.

“He liked me then so he showed some belief in me, so that’s really all you need as a young player.”

Hamalainen signed for QPR in 2014 and has made six first-team appearances, and also played three times for Los Angeles FC during a loan spell in Major League Soccer.

He said: “I’m predominately a left-back but I can also play centre-back and when I was younger I also played in midfield and on the wing.

“I like to get forward, have a good engine on me, good defensively one-on-ones, I can bring a lot going forward especially.”