(Reuters) – Liverpool forward Sadio Mane has backed his team to come through a busy December without running out of steam.
The Merseyside club play nine games in four competitions next month and face Aston Villa in the League Cup on Dec. 17 a day before playing their opening match of the Club World Cup in Qatar.
Last season’s Champions League winners drew at home with Napoli in their last match in Europe’s elite club competition on Wednesday, but Mane said the players would not find it hard to shake off bouts of mental fatigue.
“The tiredness is in the head, so as long as the body recovers well I think it is not difficult for us to play every single game,” the 27-year-old told British media.
“If the team needs us and the coach needs us, I think we’ll be able to play and help the team. I am here to work every single day and to be ready to go again every single day.”
The Senegal international has played in every Premier League game for Liverpool this season, scoring eight goals, and made another five appearances in the Champions League.
His strike partners Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah have made 18 and 16 appearances in all competitions so far, excluding the one-off Community Shield and European Super Cup games.
Mane said winning the Champions League last season had driven Liverpool to new heights and that success at the Club World Cup, which runs from Dec. 11-22, would give the team even more impetus.
“I always say to win games and win trophies motivates players all the time,” he added. “If we can win the Club World Cup then it will give us more momentum.”
Liverpool, who have an eight-point lead at the top of the Premier League table, host 12th-placed Brighton and Hove Albion on Saturday.
(Reporting by Silvia Recchimuzzi in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Schmollinger)