Traore doubted Reds future
By Paul Higham
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Djimi Traore says his mental toughness helped him get over his FA Cup gaffe.Djimi Traore says his mental toughness helped him get over his FA Cup gaffe at Burnley, and enabled him to be preparing to play in the UEFA Champions League final.
The Liverpool defender produced one of the clangers of the season when trying to turn on the ball inside his own six-yard box at Burnley, only to bundle the ball into his own net.
The French full back's blooper handed Burnley a shock FA Cup victory over The Reds, and brought him a huge amount of adverse publicity.
As Traore slumped on the Turf Moor bench, it seemed as though his Liverpool career could be in doubt, as he had failed to convince under Gerard Houllier and had not made the best impression on new boss Rafa Benitez.
However, the Spanish coach showed faith in Traore, and the 25-year-old answered his critics by returning to the side with a near foot-perfect second half of the season.
Traore has slowly been winning over the Anfield faithful with more solid performances, and he will now line up against Milan in Istanbul on Wednesday in the Champions League final.
"After that game I thought it would be hard to play for Liverpool again," admitted Traore.
"It was the worst moment of my career, and I thought I was finished at the club.
"I was distraught. The manager said 'next time Djimi, just clear the ball in that position, don't try to control it. You are a defender first so just do your job'.
"Somehow I survived, if I'm still at Liverpool it's because I am mentally strong. Those kind of things don't get me down.
"After that I thought to myself I need to show the supporters I'm not a bad player.
"That was the lowest moment for me. I had to change the way people looked at me."