Liverpool’s Mane happy to stay central in derby

Liverpool’s Sadio Mane celebrates scoring their first goal. (Reuters pic)

BENGALURU: Liverpool forward Sadio Mane is happy to continue in his central role if the team needs him to after scoring twice in Wednesday’s 5-0 Premier League victory over Watford.

Filling in for injured striker Roberto Firmino, Senegalese Mane headed in from close range in the first half before adding to his tally with a cheeky back-heel effort.

Firmino has shaken off an ankle injury and could return for the Merseyside derby at Everton on Sunday.

“I was lucky to score two but honestly I don’t mind,” Mane told Sky Sports.

“I’m happy to play left or right side but if the team or the coach needs me as a striker, I’ll try again.”.

“To be honest I was surprised. I never played there before, I was nervous.”

Title-chasing Liverpool have 69 points from 28 games, one more than Manchester City who could regain the lead after their match at Bournemouth on Saturday.

Liverpool edged Everton 1-0 when the teams played earlier this season and Mane is well aware of the importance of the fixture in the title race.

“Of course, it is one of the more important derbies because we know what we want this season,” Mane said.

“But after all, it’s like any other game. We need to focus and give everything to win it.”