Jurgen Klopp’s “human touch” is the secret to his developing success at Liverpool, according to Sadio Mane.
Mane, a £34million summer recruit from Southampton, has piled praise on the German coach, who has got Liverpool playing some of their best football for many a year.
The Senegalese forward has settled quickly into life at Anfield and has scored seven goals and provided five assists in 15 Premier League games to help fire the club into second place at the turn of the year.
Mane, who will head off to the African Cup of Nations in January, in an interview with the Daily Mail puts that down to Klopp’s man-management.
“It was a bit difficult in England at first with the weather and the rain, but I love the football culture in this country. I stayed in a hotel for a little while when I moved to Liverpool but I have a place in the south of the city now. I go to restaurants with my friends. I love it here.
“It is a pleasure to work under the instructions of the manager,” added Mane. “What he is good at is pushing players to do their best. He drives everybody on as a team. He likes the players and the players all appreciate him as well.
“What’s different about Klopp? That’s a good question. The big difference is that he is very close to his players and they feel close to him. It is the human touch. The players work for him and want to win for him. The forwards love the fluidity in attack.”
“We like the system. We really appreciate being able to play an open game. We like working on it. It helps that I have been able to contribute with goals, too.”
The Reds boss spoke to Mane when he was manager of Dortmund and Mane was playing for Red Bull Salzburg.
He snubbed the chance to sign Mane and he joined Southampton instead for £11.8million before joining Liverpool this summer.
“It was a pretty simple decision with Sadio this summer because I made the mistake at Dortmund where I didn’t take him,” said Klopp.