Mixu Paatelainen 'really happy' as former Hibs boss seals first win as Hong Kong manager

Former Hibee leads Hong Kong to first win in 12 months

Friday, 22nd November 2019, 9:23 am
Updated Friday, 22nd November 2019, 9:30 am
Mixu Paatelainen prowls the touchline as Hong Kong boss
Mixu Paatelainen prowls the touchline as Hong Kong boss

Former Hibs striker and manager Mixu Paatelainen said he was "really happy" after leading Hong Kong to their first win in 12 months.

The 52-year-old, who also had spells in charge at Kilmarnock, Dundee United, Finland, Ubon UMT United in Thailand and the Latvian national team after leaving Easter Road, took the Hong Kong job in April.

Hong Kong's last victory came in November last year, when they defeated Mongolia 5-1.

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"There's always room for improvement"

Since then, they've lost to Chinese Taipei, Iraq and Iran; drawn with Cambodia and Bahrain and, earlier this week, defeated Cambodia 2-0 at the Hong Kong Stadium thanks to strikes from Gee Ha James Stephen and Beto.

Speaking to the South China Morning Post, Paatelainen said of his first victory as Hong Kong boss: "I was a little bit worried because this was a different kind of match to the last two, but the way the players changed the tactics we asked them to do was good.

“Of course you can improve, there’s always room for improvement, but I'm really happy with everyone’s commitment.”

Hong Kong's next matches are the East Asian Football Championship games against South Korea, Japan and China PR, all of which will take place in Busan in mid-December, and Paatelainen knows the triple-header will be a tough test for the 145th-ranked side.

He continued: "We’re going to be playing very difficult matches in South Korea, so that team spirit and togetherness that will be needed over there.

“We want to give our supporters happy moments. We want to give Hong Kong people happy moments and reason to celebrate, because we’re the same. We represent Hong Kong and we do our everything to give them enjoyable moments, absolutely."