West Ham striker Carlton Cole has responded to allegations of racist abuse at Upton Park by telling Millwall fans: "I might be as strong as a gorilla but I'm not a monkey."
Visiting supporters were heard aiming monkey chants at the 25-year-old England striker, who appeared to gesture back at them when substituted towards the end of a night where there were scenes of violence in and around the ground.
Referee Paul Taylor may not have noticed the abuse amid the chaos to put in his report to the Football Association - but Cole did not miss it, and said: "I heard it but it's football. I don't care. I know 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."
Millwall have issued a statement following the emergence of a racial element to a shocking Carling Cup second-round tie.
A statement from the League One side 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."
Condemning "both sides" implies home fans being at fault too, with reports of Millwall's Jason Price also being targeted.
A West Ham spokesman added: "We take any sort of racist chanting seriously. If found guilty, we will treat that with the utmost severity."
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