Sadio Mané has acknowledged that this afternoon’s lunchtime kick-off against Tottenham is one that does hold an extra edge for Saints.
Spurs have beaten Southampton in each of the past two seasons at St Mary’s, and there will be extra focus on the return of Mauricio Pochettino and his staff, but Mané is staying focused on what he considers as an “important” game against the team that they are battling against for a European place next season.
Tottenham sit one point and one place above Saints in the Premier League table, and the outcome of this match is vital according to Mané.
“I think not only especially the fans, but I think this game is very important for us – one of the biggest games of the season,” he told reporters on Thursday.
“We will try to give our best and I think the fans will be not disappointed for we will give our best to win the game.
“I think to play in Europe is a dream for everybody. I played one time with my ex-team. It’s good, and it’s a good experience for a footballer and it’s also important and good for the club also. It will be great to play this.
“Everything is possible and everybody is believing that, so I think we’ll do it.”
Mané is the club’s second highest goalscorer this season, with six to his name so far, and the Senegalese is pleased with how his first season in England has gone.
“I can say I am happy and happy in the team,” he said. “When I came, everybody was nice to me and this makes faster a bit my adaptation. It was good and I am happy about that.
“It was not easy. Everything is not easy in the life, but you have to be every time positive if you want to make it work, so I was just positive, and I had the football.”
The frontman has been deployed both centrally and out wide in matches this season, but says he holds no preference for either position so long as it’s for the benefit of the team.
“I am happy to play every position. For me, the more important is the team, so every position the coach makes me I will give my best for the team, for everybody.
“I will every time give my best and I will keep working hard and to do my best.”