Title tilt means no mercy from striker Sane at Saints

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Sadio Mane intends to show no mercy when he returns to former club Southampton with Liverpool as Jurgen Klopp’s men look to win another three points to boost their Premier League title bid.

The Reds sneaked a late, late 2-1 win over Tottenham Hotspur last time of asking in a top-flight tussle that saw a last-gasp own goal from the visitors’ Toby Alderweireld send Anfield into a frenzy.

Senegal striker Mane wants to secure victories in all six remaining fixtures for the Merseysiders — and that starts with the trip to face the Saints bossed by Ralph Hasenhüttl’s at St Mary’s Stadium on Friday.

He told the club’s official website: “I think everything is possible, so let’s do it and win it. To be honest I think we need to win all of the games, even if it will not be easy. We still can win every game because we are a good team and we play very well.”

Reflecting on the win over Spurs coming after the lay-off through the international break, he added: “Sometimes it’s difficult after the international break because we only had two or three sessions together. Now we are back and we start with a win, I think it’s very important. We have three or four more days to train together so be like before and go again.”

Coach Klopp will waste little time in shaping his troops to think about their task ahead on the south coast. He said: “We need time together, we need time to train, prepare and all that stuff — and we have that now. We don’t need a lot of time, but we need it together. We have that now and now let’s go again, recover and then fly probably to Southampton. It’s another team in a really good moment. We will fight again. That’s all that I can promise.”

Meanwhile, Joel Matip has had his say on the prowess of team-mate Virgil van Dijk — and he reckons the Dutchman has the leadership qualities to improve the players who line up alongside him.

Matip said: “He’s a great defender. And being around him, I think everybody improves. He has had a big impact on the improvement. It’s great to play with him. He’s a complete defender and he knows what to do. Every defender does things a little bit differently. You always need some time to really know each other. This is normal. I think we need this time in a good way and this is working most of the time quite well.”

Matip has been a key factor in the first-team since he returned to the side after suffering a fractured collarbone in December. But he isn’t overawed by the run-in and has vowed to continue to improve. He added: “It’s not too bad; I always know that I have to improve but it’s a good feeling to be on the pitch and to play. If you win it’s also not too bad. I’m happy. But you know you have always to improve, to get better, to be part of the team.”

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