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09:00 30th April 2013

Liam's mixed emotions after debut

Lifelong Wolves supporter Liam McAlinden has spoken of his mixed feelings after making his full debut for the club during the weekend defeat to Burnley.

The young striker came on as a substitute for Stephen Hunt midway through the second half, going close to pulling a goal back as Wolves desperately tried to get themselves back in the game after going 2-0 down.

Despite Nouha Dicko's late goal - which was set up by McAlinden - Dean Saunders' side were beaten 2-1, a result which leaves their survival hopes hanging by a thread going into the final game of the season against Brighton next weekend.

"Obviously it was great for me to come on and make my debut," says McAlinden, who has been capped at youth level by Northern Ireland. "It was a good experience, but obviously the circumstances weren't great.

"The defeat and the consequences of it were horrible to see and it hurt as a fan, but it was even worse as a player."

Having joined the club at the age of just eight, McAlinden has enjoyed a productive year on a personal level. By signing a new contract in January, the youngster committed himself to the club to 2015.

In recent weeks, Saunders has responded to the first team injury crisis by calling the striker up from the Development ranks, something which McAlinden thinks has already benefited him as a player.

"It's been a fantastic experience to be able to train with the first team lads," he explains. "It's brought me on a lot as a player and I've been able to learn a lot from them even though it's been in quite a short space of time.

"Sylvan Ebanks-Blake has obviously been out injured, but I've still been able to watch and learn from the likes of Kevin Doyle and Bjorn Sigurdarson. 

He adds: "The boss had a great career as a striker as well, and he's always joining in with shooting practice in training - he's taught me a lot."

Despite the disappointment of Saturday's outcome McAlinden, who admits to dreaming of a place in the Wolves first team as a boy, says was delighted with the reaction of the supporters to his cameo appearance.

After getting a first club appearance under his belt, he is now determined to kick on and establish himself as a part of the Wolves first team squad - whatever the future holds for his boyhood club.

"I got a really positive reaction from the fans when I came on - they reacted to me really well, which was great, and obviously I share in their disappointment at what happened.

"But now we've got to kick on and see what we can do in the last game of the season," he continues. "Obviously after that, I'm very keen to establish myself at the club, and I'm very hopeful that I can do that."

"Jake Cassidy is in the same boat as me - we get on well and we've played together and scored a few goals, so hopefully that can continue in the future."

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