Cole shrugs off racist abuse
West Ham striker Carlton Cole has refused to let reported racist chants from Milwall fans get the better of him.
Last Updated: 26/08/09 6:15pm
Striker unfazed by chants from Lions fans
West Ham striker Carlton Cole has refused to let racist chants from Milwall fans get the better of him.
The Hammers needed extra-time to see off the League One side 3-1 in the Carling Cup second-round on Tuesday as crowd trouble marred the fixture after Police made 13 arrests.
Cole was the target of monkey chants from sections of the away crowd and appeared to gesture his own response when being substituted before the end of the derby game.
However, the England international has vowed not to dwell on the abuse and will continue to get on with his job as he did during the incident-packed game.
"I heard it but it's football," he said. "I don't care. I know I'm not a monkey. I might be as strong as a gorilla but I'm not a monkey.
"You've just got to carry on and get on with it and we got the result. That was the main point, the fans got what they deserved."
The former Chelsea striker has pointed to former team-mate Frank Lampard, who is a regular target for terrace fans up and down the country, as an example of how to deal with the situation.
"Being targeted is part and parcel of football," the 25-year-old said. "As you get bigger in football, you're going to get taunts.
"I take someone like Frank Lampard as an example. He gets abuse everywhere but he still gets his head down and carries on.
"That makes him a bigger and better person. He puts in performances week in, week out. I take people like that as examples to hopefully help me with my game.
"It's about mental toughness. You just have to carry on with your game and usually you come out good."
The Football Association plans to investigate the violence that took place both inside the ground and out and in the meantime, Millwall have released a statement condemning racism after the allegations.
A statement from the South East London club read: "Millwall FC condemns racist abuse by supporters of both sides on Tuesday night.
"There is no place for racism in society and both Millwall and West Ham work tirelessly in our respective communities to tackle this problem."
Allegations that Millwall striker Jason Price was also subject to racist taunts from West Ham fans has further dampened the Hammers' reputation as football comes to terms with fresh worries of hooliganism.
Cole admitted he was shocked at the general scenes of carnage during the game and admits that it is the first time he has experienced such chaos in his career.
"I've never been involved in such a turbulent game like that," Cole added.
"Passions were running high and it was a unique experience. I might not experience something like that in my career, so it was new to me to be a part of something like that."