Liverpool forward Sadio Mane says he is prouder than ever to be at Liverpool despite a turbulent season.
After winning the Champions League and Premier League in consecutive years, the 2020-21 campaign has been more challenging for the Reds.
Liverpool are down in seventh place having struggled with key injuries and poor form.
Sitting 25 points behind leaders Manchester City, Mane called on his team-mate to fight but insisted he has never been more proud to represent the Reds.
“In football – and in life in general – you can’t expect anything and for years and years this complicated situation has not happened,” Mane told reporters while on international duty with Senegal.
“We have always been successful, but now this has happened and we can see it is like how life is.
“To change it? Nothing else but stick together, be positive and fight.
“This is what we try to do to change this situation and I’m sure that it will change. I am more proud than ever to be a Liverpool player.
“I am happy, I am really enjoying being here and sharing the pitch with my team-mates for Liverpool Football Club.”
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) March 25, 2021
Liverpool won their last match before the international break 1-0 at Wolves, with a huge clash against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium coming up next Saturday.
While they have struggled at Anfield, the Reds have won four of their past five away Premier League games (L1), as many as they had won in their previous 15 on the road in the competition (D6 L5).
They will also face Real Madrid in a mouth-watering Champions League quarter-final tie.
Ahead of a crucial spell, Mane called for his team-mates to battle and was not prepared to use injuries as an excuse.
He added: “Let’s be honest, we are in a difficult time and this sometimes happens to teams, which again is part of football.
“We have to deal with the situation and not stop believing, but keep fighting, keep our motivation and go again. When you are a fighter you never try to make excuses. We are here to find solutions.
“Being together with my team-mates always gives me high energy.
“You can see the quality of the team and if you came to the dressing room.
“I think you would have no other option than to see your future like it is going to be bright because with this squad and this team there is the attitude and belief that everything will change.”
It was Diogo Jota who scored the winning goal for Liverpool at Wolves, the forward’s return from injury coming at a welcome time.
The form of regular front three Mane, Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah has been questioned at times this season amid a hectic fixture calendar.
Salah has gone five league games without a goal, while Mane and Firmino have both struck just once in 11 top-flight appearances in 2021.
Mane, though, did net in both legs of the Champions League last-16 victory over RB Leipzig.
He played the full 90 minutes as Senegal drew 0-0 with Congo on Friday.