Dietmar Hamann, recalled to the Liverpool team earlier than expected after injury on Tuesday, has been talking about his desire to stay on at Anfield. Didi is out of contract at the end of the season but wants to remain one of Rafa Benitez’s players. The German midfielder was signed from Newcastle by Gerrard Houllier but has been extremely impressed by the new man in charge at Anfield. "I haven’t signed anywhere for 2005-06, but if you have the chance to work under him you should use this opportunity and a game like the one on Tuesday certainly brings you even closer to the club. He’s a tremendously hard-working coach and we practice his tactical concept into every detail," said Didi.
The German was talking to ‘Kicker’ and continued, "You could see his style already in Valencia, where the team conceded only very few goals, but he wants us to play forward and move our defence-line far away from our own goal."
"I didn’t expect to make the starting formation but, given Xabi Alonso’s suspension, the coach was pleased that I was ready to play," said Didi of Tuesday’s win. Now Liverpool are in the final and Hamman relishes the fact that Liverpool remain unfancied: "We are the outsiders, but we like this underdog role. Milan have top players in each part of the team, but we have gained a lot of self-confidence from our wins over Chelsea and Juventus and now we want to go on and lift the trophy."
Whilst Hamann waits to see whether Benitez can offer him a new deal, fellow midfielder Salif Diao is set to return to Anfield after a difficult time on loan at Birmingham. He joined Steve Bruce’s team during the winter transfer window, but in keeping with a large part of the Liverpool squad has been hit by injuries. Bruce said: "Salif has been unfortunate. He’s not been able to do himself justice because of injuries. He will probably go back to Liverpool and I think he needs a full season under his belt. We well then assess the situation once he is fully fit." Liverpool are likely to listen to offers from other clubs for Diao, as Benitez has managed without him during the recent midfield injury crises.