Reds laud new stars
By Paul Higham
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Igor Biscan and Djimi Traore look to have turned their Anfield careers around.Liverpool's win in La Coruna produced two of the most unlikely of heroes as Djimi Traore and Igor Biscan emerged as the stars of the show.
Both men have come under fire from Reds fans ever since their arrival at Anfield, continually failing to impress.
Turning the two flops into Anfield heroes could be one of the biggest feats of Rafa Benitez's management career to date, but he looks as if he could do what had seemed impossible under Gerard Houllier.
Almost everyone on the Kop had written off Biscan as a £5 million mistake, while insisting that Traore could just not cut it at the highest level.
However, the two were undoubtedly the men of the match in Spain and Liverpool fans found themselves in the unusual state of chanting their names at the end of the match.
"The criticism I had in the past has made me a better player and sometimes you need that to realise how you have to improve," said Traore.
"We have all had it - me, Igor, Salif Diao - but we are not bad players. Often you just need a chance to show what you can do.
"Everyone gets criticised, but I'm more confident now. When you have the confidence of your manager, when he asks you to do something, you feel happy to do it out on the pitch. It's nice now that things seem to be changing and that people are behind me."
Biscan was rock solid in the middle of the park, and his charge forward set up the winning goal but, although his display surprised many, it did not shock his team-mates.
"Igor might have surprised some people in this game, but it didn't surprise me," added Traore.
"He does that all the time in training and he's a good player."
Goalkeeper Chris Kirkland agreed and added: "Igor was up and down the park and really breaking things up as well as creating them.
"He had a great game.
"He has taken some stick off the fans, which he takes in good humour - hopefully they will get on his side now.
"We all know Xabi is a world- class player but Igor came in here and did a fantastic job."