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Last Updated: Saturday, 6 March, 2004, 15:18 GMT
Van Nistelrooy proves point
Ruud van Nistelrooy celebrates
Ruud van Nistelrooy admitted he had a point to prove after firing Manchester United into the FA Cup semi-finals with two goals.

The Dutch striker, unhappy after being rested for the Premiership trip to Fulham, said: "I hadn't played for a while so I felt good.

"Sometimes managers and players disagree about needing a rest, I always want to play.

"Deep down I probably agree, but it's not nice to be rested."

Van Nistelrooy added: "We have reached the semi-finals now so that's a big game for us this season."

We've always made mistakes because we try and play football
Sir Alex Ferguson

United boss Sir Alex Ferguson paid tribute to Van Nistelrooy's goalscoring instincts.

"Ruud picks himself most of the time. He could have scored a lot of goals today, our attacking display was great.

"He could have scored four and that's what you expect of Ruud."

United had to come from a goal behind after defensive errors and Wes Brown's rash challenge gave Fulham the chance to take the lead from a Steed Malbranque penalty.

Ferguson said: "Obviously whenever there's a mistake in the back four the crowd makes them nervous.

We are a kick of a ball away from the Millennium Stadium and it will galvanise us against Porto
Sir Alex Ferguson

"But we've always made mistakes because we try and play football.

"We have to calm it down, the general defending was very good.

"Wes Brown had a good game, the penalty kick was just a bit unlucky. The most important thing for us is attacking play."

Ferguson also said the victory was the perfect preparation as United look to overturn a first-leg deficit in their Champions League tie against Porto.

We are in the semi-final of the FA Cup, we are a kick of a ball away from the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff. It will galvanise us against Porto and we can have an exciting game."

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