Date: 30th April 2006 at 10:57am
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Alan Pardew was furious at press reports that West Ham only beat Middlesbrough in the FA Cup semi-final ‘because they were tired ‘!

The West Ham manager says he felt vindicated as he watched Middlesbrough stage a remarkable comeback to reach the UEFA Cup final on Thursday night.

Pardew: ‘When people said after the semi-final we beat Middlesbrough because they were tired I thought that was an injustice to us.

‘I felt there was a sense of us not being given enough credit for beating Middlesbrough, because we did play well.

‘Our second-half performance was put down to Middlesbrough being jaded rather than because we stepped up a gear.

‘Thursday night they proved they aren’t jaded, it proved they are a very good team. It just goes to show how good a performance it was from us.

‘They are a very good team and I am very proud that we can now say we beat the UEFA Cup finalists.

‘European nights are something we have got to look forward to. We have two games to qualify for the group stage. We have at least one game at Upton park and knowing our lot that will be sold out.’