Mane talks up home inspiration for Liverpool form

Sadio Mane is adamant that he is "really good friends" with Liverpool team-mate Mohamed Salah and they have settled their recent on-field differences.

Liverpool forward Sadio Mane says support from his home village in Senegal has motivated him to reach top form in the Premier League this season.

The African Player of the Year is enjoying another stellar season with the Reds and has been a key figure in helping Jurgen Klopp’s side go 22 points clear at the top of the Premier League table.

Having become only the second Senegalese player in January to win the African Player of the Year after El Hadji Diouf, Mane has paid tribute to his hometown village of Bambali for the role they have played to motivate him to his current level in the game.

“I can’t describe how they are and how motivated they are especially,” Mane told Liverpool’s official website. “They always push me. If you see those people, you push hard and harder to make them proud because it’s the only satisfaction they have on it. I have to give back what they have done for me.

“I think it was something special for the village because in the village we had some great players but they were never successful.”

He added: “How things are going and as I get more motivated and [they get] more excited to see me higher and higher, I think I have to sacrifice myself to make them proud.”

Meanwhile, Mane is currently working his way back to full fitness after picking up an injury against Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Thankfully for the former Southampton star, the winter break came at just the right time and Mane is expected to feature on Saturday in the Premier League against Norwich City.

Mane’s recovery is also a massive boost for Liverpool in their hopes of retaining the Champions League title, as they face Atletico Madrid on Tuesday in the first leg of their last 16 tie.