football

Sadio Mané confident Liverpool’s forwards can deal with hectic December


Sadio Mané has claimed Liverpool’s front three can handle the exhausting demands of December because fatigue exists only in the mind.

Liverpool face nine matches in four competitions next month including the Champions League group finale in Salzburg, where Jürgen Klopp’s side realistically require a draw to reach the knockout stage. Hopes of qualifying with a game to spare, and rotating the squad in Austria, were thwarted by the 1-1 draw with Napoli at Anfield on Wednesday.

Mané, Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah did not finish last season until 19 July, 7 July and 6 July respectively because of Africa Cup of Nations and Copa América commitments. This season they have made 19, 20 and 18 appearances for Liverpool respectively.

Mané, though, does not believe the workload will catch up with Liverpool as they pursue Champions League qualification, the Premier League title and the Club World Cup in Qatar.

“Honestly, I think it is all in the head,” the Senegal international said. “The tiredness is in the head, so as long as the body recovers well I think it is not difficult for us to play every single game. If the team needs us, and the coach needs us, I think we will be able to play and help the team. I am here to work every single day and to be ready to go again every single day.

“At the end of last season I was really fresh. You could see that because I was there to score goals, and I scored the goals! I cannot complain. I just have to say I was really fresh and enjoying it – I think all the players were fresh because we were successful. You just have to be as professional as you can.”

The Liverpool forward believes winning the Club World Cup for the first time in the club’s history would more than compensate for a heavy schedule. “I always say to win games and win trophies motivates players all the time. If we can win the Club World Cup then it will give us more momentum. Hopefully we are going to win it and give us another blast of high energy to go again for the rest of the season.”

Liverpool are yet to discover the extent of the ankle problem that forced Fabinho out of the Napoli game. The influential Brazilian will have a scan once the ankle has settled, although Klopp fears the injury could be significant.



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