Liverpool’s Mamadou Sakho delighted by his return to form ahead of Merseyside derby

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Mamadou Sakho discusses his dramatic return to form four months on from derby day misery…

Liverpool centre-back Mamadou Sakho believes he has come back stronger after enduring an extremely difficult start to the season, one that looked to have plunged his Anfield future into doubt.

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Back in September, Sakho was left out of Brendan Rodgers’ side to face Everton at Anfield, causing him to angrily storm out of the ground rather than stay to watch the game.

The Frenchman was heavily fined over the incident, while speculation raged over whether he had been permanently exiled from the Liverpool squad, as he spent two months on the sidelines through injury.

“It was a bad moment for me, a difficult time. It was a normal reaction, you know – I felt bad, disappointed [at being axed]. I want to play all the time, it is the same with all the players, we want to play for the red shirt and in the big games,” Sakho was quoted by the Daily Mirror.

“It was hard for me yes, and then I was injured for a long time. But one thing about me, I have a strong mentality all the time. I work hard, I try to fight hard.

“People know my mentality – I never give up. If I am out of the team I will never leave, will never walk away from the fight because of my life before. When I was younger, my life was very difficult, very hard, I had to experience some very difficult times. And I think I have a good mentality because of that.”

Despite his fall from grace, Sakho confirmed that he always remained confident of forcing his way back into contention.

“I never thought to leave. I never doubted I would come back. I don’t know if I have proved I belong here, that is for others to decide. But I’m very happy at the club and very happy with the team,” he continued.

“I have two-and-a-half years left on my contract and I never say I want to go. My family is happy in Liverpool, we have a young child, good ­ambience, everything is settled for me.

“I repeat, I am ready to fight for the club, and for the team. What is most important for me is that the team plays well now, the team is playing much better with a very good mentality – it is nice to be part of it.”

Over the last two months, Sakho has become an integral part of Liverpool’s side, playing on the left of Rodgers’ new-look back three. Speaking about the upcoming game with Everton.

“I hope I am playing this time,” he added.

“So I work, I am ready, but the coach has to do his job, and he will decide if I play or not!”

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