Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Win Us Some Silver

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Win Us Some Silver

Article excerpt

Byline: Eric Paylor

Steve McClaren today told his players to forget all about Europe and concentrate on bringing another trophy to Teesside.

Boro go to Villa Park tomorrow knowing that victory will guarantee Boro's place in Europe for a third consecutive year.

But McClaren insists that Europe is merely a bonus ( and that silverware remains the club's main objective.

He told the Evening Gazette: "We know that we stand another 90 minutes from Europe and hopefully we will get there for a third consecutive season.

"But our main objective in beating West Ham is to move closer towards winning a major trophy.

"We want to deliver another trophy for our fans. We can take a big step towards achieving that feat tomorrow.

"We waited 128 years for our first trophy when we won the Carling Cup.

"Now we have the chance to go into the final of the FA Cup. This is a big, big game for the club and for the fans, and we want to make sure that we do everything we can to deliver."

Boro are playing their second major semi-final in four days, following the UEFA Cup opener at Steaua Bucharest, and McClaren believes that the players are totally focused on the task.

He said: "We will try to keep the team as fresh as possible. It's something we have been doing all season.

"Tiredness is a big worry but hopefully the adrenaline will kick in and will carry us through.

"We have gained a lot of cup experience over the last few years and we have to use that experience.

"We know this is a huge game for West Ham as well. But we are desperate to win it, and we will approach the game accordingly."

McClaren and his players flew straight to Birmingham from Bucharest and have completed their training preparations in the Midlands city.

They have been joined by Chris Riggott, Mark Viduka and Lee Cattermole, all of whom missed the trip to Romania. …

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