Sadio Mane says his Liverpool teammates were as surprised as Reds fans were when they found out that he would be playing as the central striker against Watford on Wednesday night.
So much of a surprise decision it was from Jurgen Klopp and his coaching staff, Mane claims he and his teammates laughed when the idea was explained.
Mane went on to score twice, including a stunning backheel over the onrushing Ben Foster, which you can rewatch by clicking here, beating his previous record for Premier League goals in a single season in the process (he now has 14, just three less than Mo Salah in 2018/19).
Mane told Sky Sports: “Honestly, I was surprised like you because I never played [as a striker] before.
“One day before the game, the coach called me, he said ‘OK, we’re going to make some changes and Sadio you have to play number nine’.
“I looked at my team-mates, and we all looked like [pulled face of surprise], we all do this. I was laughing, and I said ‘OK my boss, listen: we are a team so you have to trust me!’. Almost everybody was laughing at me!”
He performed so well in the position that Mane might be played there again between now and the end of the season, perhaps even again on Sunday against Everton if Roberto Firmino is not back from his injury sustained at Old Trafford.
Hopefully, Mane can maintain his level of performance from Wednesday night on Sunday afternoon – if he does, Everton’s defence could be in for a difficult time.