Sadio Mane has pledged to “make the fans proud and happy” this season, after being named Liverpool’s Player of the Month for February.
The 24-year-old received the club’s monthly award, though there was little to celebrate given the Reds’ meagre record of just one win in three games in the Premier League.
But it was Mane’s attacking thrust that fuelled that 2-0 victory at home to Tottenham, with the Senegalese scoring both goals in an exceptional team display.
And speaking on receiving his Player of the Month award, Mane addressed his side’s poor form, and the need to respond between now and May.
“I’m very happy to be nominated by the fans. I’m just looking forward to doing my best for the team,” he said.
“It was a difficult few weeks. We were struggling and it wasn’t easy for us, for the club and for the fans. But it’s part of football.
“Now it’s behind us and the confidence is back. We’re going to do our best until the end of the season to make the fans proud and happy.”
Mane is Liverpool’s top scorer for the season so far, with 12 goals in 26 games in all competitions, and has also assisted the most, with eight.
The former Southampton winger has averaged a goal or assist every 109.5 minutes so far, which is an excellent record, particularly given the muted reception on his arrival.
Signed from the Saints for £30 million, Mane was widely regarded as a gamble from Jurgen Klopp, given his relative lack of experience at the top.
But now, as his display against Spurs proved, he is now indispensable on Merseyside, and his performances will be central to Liverpool finishing the season in the top four.
The Reds have 11 games left to play before the end of the campaign, and have every chance of securing Champions League football for 2017/18.
Their next outing comes against Sean Dyche’s Burnley at Anfield, which stands as a major test of their ability to break down stubborn, lower-level sides—as they failed to do back in August.
Mane’s pace, speed of thought and direct attacking style could be central to victory on Sunday, as he looks to continue his great start to life under Klopp.