Sadio Mane admits winning the Champions League is now Liverpool’s ‘main target’ amid a ‘really complicated time’ for the Premier League champions.
Liverpool currently sit eighth in the Premier League following a disappointing title defence this season, the Reds having endured a huge downturn in performances after ending the club’s wait for a league title in dominant fashion last season.
Injuries have contributed to the club’s decline with their centre-back options having been decimated, each of the senior options that started the season – Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip – all ruled out for the remainder season.
Jurgen Klopp’s side have endured a torrid run of form in 2021 and have lost six consecutive home fixtures in the Premier League, their poor performances leaving the club a huge eight points adrift of the top four in the race to secure Champions League football.
Mane admits it has been a difficult season given the highs of the previous campaign, but says Liverpool must ‘stick together’ and remain positive as they bid to return to winning ways.
“As a professional footballer, it is not easy when you are used to winning every single game like we were used to last year,” Mane said, according to Goal.
“At times it was tough, but not like it is now, which is a really complicated time, but we are more experienced now and we know how to deal with things. You just have to stick together and be as positive as you can.”
Despite their struggles domestically this season Liverpool have made progress in Europe, securing their place in the quarter-finals of the Champions League with a 4-0 aggregate win over RB Leipzig.
Mane added that the club’s disappointing domestic campaign and progress to the last eight has now led to a switch in focus, admitting winning club football’s biggest prize is now the Reds ‘main target’ this season.
“Being in the top four right now is our main target, but to win the Champions League is our main, main target.” he added.
“It won’t be easy because we are going to face the best teams in Europe, but we are here to beat the best in the world. We will do everything possible to go for it and to win the Champions League.”