Sadio Mane hoping to avoid further Saints punishment over tardiness
Published 03/01/2016 | 16:06
Southampton forward Sadio Mane will hope to avoid further punishment for turning up late for the team meeting which led to him being dropped at Norwich.
Mane was withdrawn from the starting line-up to face the Canaries on Saturday just a couple of hours before kick-off after arriving late for the gathering, as is club protocol under Saints boss Ronald Koeman.
Koeman publicly blamed the 23-year-old winger and his team-mate Victor Wanyama after their indiscipline helped condemn Southampton to a 1-0 defeat at Carrow Road.
Wanyama's 74th-minute red card for a needless challenge which led to his sending off was swiftly followed by Norwich's winning goal, although the midfielder has since apologised for his "reckless and irresponsible" actions on social media.
Wanyama is likely to escape any further internal sanction but Mane's misdemeanor may not be forgiven so easily, with Koeman revealing in his post-match interviews that it is the second time the Senegal international has broken that particular club rule.
Mane, whom the Sunday newspapers have once again reported is of interest to Manchester United following the player's latest fall out with his manager, did come on as an 80th-minute substitute against Norwich.
However, with the players having Sunday off, it remains to be seen whether his demotion to the bench is seen as punishment enough by Koeman.
Meanwhile, Wanyama, whose future at Southampton has also been the subject of speculation, has taken to Instagram to say sorry for his red card.
He said: "I would just like to apologise to the manager, fans and everyone at the club for my red card yesterday.
"It was reckless and irresponsible and I should have used my experience to have not let it happen, especially when I was on a yellow card.
"I now just want to focus on getting back on the pitch and helping the team as much as I can."
Southampton had the lion's share of control and chances at Carrow Road until being reduced to 10 men, but now find themselves just a point ahead of the newly-promoted Canaries after a sixth defeat from their last eight Barclays Premier League fixtures.
James Ward-Prowse put Wanyama's red card down to his fellow midfielder's enthusiasm but felt the other Saints players battled well for the remainder of the match.
"Victor is an aggressive player and he likes to get around the pitch. It was unfortunate for him that he got sent off," Ward-Prowse told the club's official website, saintsfc.co.uk.
"It's always difficult, but we coped well after the goal. It was just one of those moments and to be fair, the guy took the goal very well.
"It was a real test of character out there and we can learn a lot from that.
"We have to learn from it - it's a new year and a new start, but it wasn't the ideal start. It's a test of character to come through the bad times."
Alex Tettey scored the goal against Southampton which saw Norwich earn successive wins for the first time this season, following Monday's 2-0 home victory over Aston Villa.
And the significance of another three points was not lost on the midfielder, who told the club's official website, canaries.co.uk: "It's massive because we knew we had to try and get back-to-back wins.
"That's happened, which means we're very pleased. It's something we hadn't yet done this season so we're really happy.
"We have two clean sheets in a row now, and that's pleasing as a team. It's been a good month for us despite some difficult fixtures.
"We have to continue picking up points now because that's what it's all about."