MK Dons boss Karl Robinson was delighted to call on his Liverpool connection to land Didi Hamann.
Hamann was lured to MK Dons by Robinson, the Football League's youngest manager at 29 and a former coach at Liverpool after his playing career was curtailed by injury as a teenager.
He knew from their days together at Anfield that Hamann could be the trigger to fire his young team towards the Championship.
Robinson told the Daily Mail: "I needed a holding midfield player. I wanted to be really secure for 60 minutes, I didn't want our trenches broken. I knew that Didi would pull and push people, that he would talk, he would pass - I think he gave the ball away once today in the 73 minutes he played.
"He brings a lot of experience and puts a lot of confidence into some young players. You don't win what he has if you're an average player."