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Last Updated: Friday, 7 April 2006, 09:09 GMT 10:09 UK
McClaren revels in Boro conquest
Middlesbrough players celebrate their comeback win over Basle
Massimo Maccarone's late goal sparked wild celebrations
Manager Steve McClaren said he never doubted Middlesbrough would beat Basle in the Uefa Cup quarter-finals - even after they went 3-0 down on aggregate.

Boro stormed back to win 4-1 at The Riverside for a 4-3 two-legged victory and McClaren revealed: "I always knew we had goals in us and could do it.

"I didn't even mind conceding the first goal because I just felt we'd score.

"It was an historic night and what a way to do it. It was a fantastic performance, a monumental display."

McClaren lavished praise on his players after seeing his side overturn a 2-0 first-leg deficit to progress at the expense of Christian Gross' team.

I can't describe it, it's unbelievable. The atmosphere was absolutely brilliant
Boro winger Stewart Downing

"The players showed great courage, they never gave up and the supporters never gave up with them," McClaren added.

"The character we showed to come back was incredible. It is one of the best games I've ever been involved in.

"The Carling Cup win in 2004 was a massive hurdle for the club, but this is so special because of the manner in which we won the game.

"I cannot see there ever being a better European night in Middlesbrough's history than that."

Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink came off the bench to score Boro's third goal before fellow substitute Massimo Maccarone netted the winner at the death.

"What a night," said Hasselbaink. "We made history. It's unbelievable

"I was gutted that I didn't start and when we went 1-0 behind I thought, 'Oh dear, here we go again, it sums up my career with medals'.

"When I came on I just thought, 'Let's give it everything and look where we can go. But this is absolutely magnificent."

Winger Stewart Downing was almost lost for words after playing his part in the amazing comeback.

"I can't describe it, it's unbelievable," said Downing. "It's without doubt the best game I've ever played in.

"The atmosphere was absolutely brilliant. When we conceded the goal, I think everyone thought that we were dead and buried but the fans stuck with us till the very end."


WATCH AND LISTEN
News conference: Boro boss Steve McClaren


Interview with Middlesbrough striker Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink



SEE ALSO
Middlesbrough 4-1 Basle (agg 4-3)
06 Apr 06 |  Middlesbrough
FC Basle 2-0 Middlesbrough
30 Mar 06 |  Middlesbrough
Uefa Cup photos
06 Apr 06 |  Photo Galleries


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