Football

20-Year-Old Galway Player Hailed For 'Outstanding' Championship Debut

20-Year-Old Galway Player Hailed For 'Outstanding' Championship Debut

Ryan Manning made his Championship debut for QPR on New Year's Eve in a 2-1 win away to Wolves.

The 20-year-old from Galway started in midfield as QPR got their first win since mid-November.

After the game, Ian Holloway - who only rejoined the club as manager in November - told West London Sport that Manning had been 'outstanding'.

I think Ryan Manning was absolutely outstanding and epitomised what my QPR was before and what I want it to be in the future.

He also told QPR's website that it was as good a debut as he has seen in his management career.

I gave Ryan Manning his debut for us, and he epitomised what I’m all about. He showed heart, fight – that’s also as good a debut as I’ve seen. And I thought the lads really helped him out.

Manning joined QPR two years ago when Harry Redknapp was manager and the club was still in the Premier League.

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The former Galway United player described making his debut an 'unreal feeling'.

It was a dream debut – the best feeling I’ve ever had in football. To start for QPR in such a big game and then to play the 90 minutes and win the match in the final few minutes was an unreal feeling. I couldn’t ask for anything more to be honest.

I’ve been here for almost two years now and it’s all been working towards this. I’ve had to be patient and bide my time, waiting for an opportunity.

The gaffer told me that he believed in me and that gave me the confidence to go out there and play the way I did. I felt I proved I can handle it and hopefully I’ll continue to be involved now.

Manning only found out that there was a chance of him playing on Friday.

It all happened so quickly – I didn’t have time to think about it really. I got told on Friday morning that I was going to be in the squad and there was a chance I could play – and then it was confirmed on Saturday morning. Before I could think too much about it, I was out there playing and it felt amazing.

I tried to treat it like any other game to be honest. I got a couple of nice early touches and hit a few decent diags to the wide players and that helped settle me down.

It was the best feeling ever to be out there playing for QPR. And to win the game in such dramatic style, at a time when the whole club was desperate for a victory, was just amazing.

PJ Browne
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