Thursday 20 September 2018

Mane to use poor start as fuel

Liverpool's Sadio Mane
Liverpool's Sadio Mane

Liverpool must not dwell on their woeful start to 2017 but instead use it as motivation to turn their faltering season around, forward Sadio Mane has said.

The Merseyside club's Premier League victory over Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday not only marked their first league win of the year but was also just their second victory in 11 games. "It's too early to speak about what's going to happen but the confidence is back in this team now," Mane said. "We have a team with great qualities. What happened has happened."

Liverpool's title bid has collapsed in recent weeks as their poor form has dropped them to fifth, 11 points behind Chelsea after 25 games.

"We can't change that but the motivation is there to keep improving and get whatever we can from the rest of the season. Those kind of moments can happen in a season," added Mane. "We had three or four difficult weeks but we are out of that now. We have to take it game by game and try to win every game between now and the end of the season.

"We have time to rest and time to train so we need to use that."

Meanwhile, defender Dejan Lovren was the one notable absentee from the Liverpool squad which flew out to Spain for a warm weather training camp yesterday.

The Croatia international has not played since the 1-1 draw at home to Chelsea on January 31, missing matches against Hull and Tottenham after sustaining a knee injury.

However, midfielder Lucas Leiva, who has deputised in Lovren's absence, was on the flight to La Manga. Other expected absentees were striker Danny Ings, goalkeeper Adam Bogdan (both knee) and midfielders Ovie Ejaria (ankle) and Marko Grujic (hamstring).

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