Friday, April 28, 2006
NRC: Hoping to become East End legend
Nigel Reo-Coker on his diary website at icons.com:
"I know that we lost 2-1 to Liverpool on Wednesday night, but it's still been a fantastic week for us. To reach an FA Cup final with West Ham is a dream come true for the whole team. It's so exciting.
"Both clubs rested players for the league match this week, so it won't have a huge bearing on the final itself. But having said that, I do think we can take more positives than negatives from the match at Upton Park. We scored one, and should have had another when my second goal was disallowed, which goes to show that we will be dangerous opponents for Liverpool in Cardiff.
"Apart from the loss, which I thought was unlucky, the night was also marred by the red cards shown to Hayden Mullins and Luis Garcia which means they are out of the FA Cup final. I think most people agree that they were yellow card offences, not red, so I hope that the FA will look at it sympathetically and show some leniency to both players by making a sensible decision.
"It was a moment of madness that was all over in a flash and nobody got hurt. It was a minor flashpoint, not a big incident. Hayden's character is brilliant and he's never ever in trouble with referees. His disciplinary record is quality, he's only had two yellow cards all season. That's why it would be so harsh on him to miss out on the final over such a little thing. We're all fully backing the club's appeal.
"Looking ahead to next month's final at the Millennium Stadium, it's so, so exciting. For me, it doesn't get any better because I was a Liverpool supporter as a kid. It really is a dream final for me.
"We won't be going into the game with any fear. I can promise that. It's a massive occasion for the club, but we aren't overawed by it. We want to go for it and show everyone what a good side we are. This set of West Ham players have a golden opportunity to make history and become East End legends for ever more, and we're determined to make it happen. It's down to us, and we believe we can do it.
"Our semi-final hero at Villa Park was Marlon Harewood and I am so pleased for him. It couldn't have happened to a nicer guy, or to a player that works harder than him. He's a great lad.
"Marlon's scored 16 goals this season, his first in the Premiership, but I still don't think he's getting the credit he deserves. The recognition he's had since Sunday is long overdue in my opinion. We all think the world of him at Upton Park - and long may his, and the team's current success continue!"