Friday 23 August 2019

Sadio Mane opens up on his omission from Liverpool's team against Chelsea last weekend

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp with Sadio Mane
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp with Sadio Mane
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Liverpool forward Sadio Mane has admitted it was "not easy" for him to watch the majority of Saturday's Premier League game against Chelsea from the bench, but he has refuted any suggestions of a bust-up with boss Jurgen Klopp.

Mane was caught on camera gesticulating with Klopp after the final whistle, with many observers suggesting the exchange was evidence that the Senegal forward was annoyed to have been left out of one of the biggest games of the season.

Yet Mane has vowed to bounce back from his disappointment, as he offered his first public comments on his omission from the Liverpool line-up.

"It was not easy for me," he told reporters. "It was a difficult moment, but it’s part of football and it can happen. It’s important for me to come back now. I’m feeling very well."

Mane went on to reveal details of his post match conversation with Klopp, as he suggested his frustration was inspired by a lack of commuication.

"He Klopp asked me to play on the right side and one time I tried to ask for the ball in the number nine position," said Mane. "Mo [Salah] was on my side and the coach was shouting 'Sadio come onto the right side'.

After the game I told the coach it was easier if you told Mo to come in because he was close to you, but it was friendly, it was not because I was unhappy or something else. There was no problem, I was just communicating and explaining that to him after the game."

Mane went on to suggest Klopp's decision to leave him out of the Chelsea game had nothing to do with fitness concerns, after he missed a large part of this season with a hamstring problem.

"I’m completely recovered, yes," he added. "I’ve been fine for around a month and that’s why I’ve been in training with the team and playing games."

Mane will be hoping to get back into the Liverpool starting line-up for their game against Stoke on Wednesday.

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