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Last Updated: Friday, 28 April 2006, 06:41 GMT 07:41 UK
McClaren hails 'incredible' Boro
Middlesbrough manager Steve McClaren
McClaren was left stunned by Boro's comeback
Middlesbrough boss Steve McClaren was jubilant after his side fought back to beat Steaua Bucharest 4-3 on aggregate in their Uefa Cup semi-final.

McClaren said: "I cannot believe it. It is incredible.

"It was down to character and attitude. I said that in the previous round against Basle - it was the same here.

"I said that lightning couldn't strike twice in the same place but it has done. Now let's go one step further and win the final."

Massimo Maccarone had scored the late goal that beat Basle in the previous round and he repeated the trick with an 89th-minute header against Steaua.

Boro striker Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink said: "Massimo, I will love him until I die.

Steve McClaren motivated all of us. He said at half-time that we had nothing to lose, just go out and enjoy it.
Boro midfielder George Boateng

"It is unbelievable. We are in the final and we have to go for it in the final. We had to do it the hard way."

Midfielder George Boateng put the win down to Boro's resilience and determination.

"It was just hard work in the second half," he said. "We had to find a way to win this game.

"After it went to 2-0 it was very difficult to climb the big mountain but when we came back and got the goal the belief started growing and in the last 15 minutes we could see they were tiring.

"Steve McClaren motivated all of us, he said at half-time that we had nothing to lose, just go out and enjoy it."

Middlesbrough chairman Steve Gibson was left flabbergasted by his side's victory.

"It is incredible and I am absolutely speechless. What a night, the players were absolutely magnificent," he said.

"Boro in the Uefa Cup final - that's got a fantastic ring to it. We are representing the country and we are very proud to do it.

"If ourselves and Arsenal could make it a double, what an achievement that would be."

Steaua Bucharest coach Cosmin Olaroiu attributed his side's defeat to over-confidence.

Olaroiu said: "My players believed themselves to be in the final after half an hour but even so such a defeat is difficult to understand.

"We lost our heads and we missed a huge opportunity to get through.

"The lack of experience of some of my players upset our whole system once we went 2-0 up."

News conference: Middlesbrough boss Steve McClaren

Interview: Middlesbrough's Mark Viduka

Interview: Middlesbrough's Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink

Middlesbrough v Steaua B'chrst
26 Apr 06 |  Europe
Uefa Cup photos
27 Apr 06 |  Photo Galleries


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