Zavon Hines was left with a bittersweet feeling after making his full West Ham United debut on Saturday.
The 20-year-old was handed his first start in the 1-0 Barclays Premier League defeat at Wigan Athletic, and produced a lively display that impressed manager Gianfranco Zola. He was one of four homegrown Hammers in the starting eleven alongside Mark Noble, James Tomkins and Junior Stanislas, with Josh Payne on the bench.
The striker was a constant thorn in the side of the Latics, harrying the defenders and goalkeeper Chris Kirkland alike all afternoon, only to be left on the losing side after Hugo Rodallega scored a scrappy second-half winner.
Hines told WHUTV he thought he had won a penalty for his side after appearing to be brought down by Maynor Figueroa, only for referee Alan Wiley to wave away his protests.
The Academy graduate admitted he was still pleased to have been handed his first-team bow after an early part of his career blighted by two knee injuries. "I can't be too upset," he told WHUTV. "At end of the day, because not a lot of people get the opportunity that I've had. I was just happy to make my full debut.
"I've always got belief in myself. I have been injured so I personally think that is the reason why I haven't had a chance before. Now it's come so I've just got to be happy.
"It was good. It's part of my game, closing down defenders and that, so I just tried to play my game, even though it was my full debut. I didn't take it as my full debut, I just took it as another game."