Jürgen Klopp believes Sadio Mane is finding his best form again after spectacular strikes against Burnley and Manchester City since the turn of the year.
The Liverpool forward was not at his fluent best during December but has responded in commendable fashion since the start of 2018.
An excellent turn and finish at Turf Moor helped the Reds to a hard-fought 2-1 victory and Mane notched one of the four goals that downed Manchester City last weekend with a thunderous left-footer into the top corner.
As Klopp’s side prepare to face Swansea City on Monday night, the manager expressed his confidence that the No.19 is primed to perform consistently at his highest level once more.
“At Burnley he scored a fantastic goal but it was not a world-class game of Sadio,” he said of the Senegal international, who has scored nine times so far this term.
“Since then it has clicked and he is now really back. He works hard, he protects the ball pretty well, no risky dribbling, and he is a world-class player.
“The two goals he scored [against Burnley and City], I don’t know a lot of players who could have scored these goals.”
The boss continued: “Of course we had talks. I cannot tell you what I told the player in a one-to-one meeting, but it was about what he did so far.
“Good, good, good, good, good. One or two things not that good, but the rest good. So let’s build on that and ignore the rest. That is how life is.
“You cannot think all the time about your mistakes because that makes no sense. You cannot forget all the good things. We are all a bit like that and sometimes people need help to realise again the good situation.
“He is in a fantastic situation where everyone loves him in the club. But he played from [the heart] and not from [the head] and nothing really worked out in the end.”
During last month’s Premier League clash with Everton at Anfield, Mane was guilty of squandering a clear chance to set up a teammate for a simple tap-in that would have doubled Liverpool’s lead after Mohamed Salah’s opener.
The 25-year-old instead tried to score himself and scuffed his effort wide, and the Blues later snatched an unlikely point from the penalty spot.
“I like to be honest and I don’t want to say Sadio was brilliant when he wasn’t. Everyone could see that he struggled a bit here, it didn’t look like it was too easy for him,” added Klopp.
“After the Everton game when he didn’t pass the ball, everybody made a big criticism of him.
“I didn’t mention it, to be honest. I didn’t mention it at half-time, I didn’t mention it after the game, it was not mentioned in any meeting because I saw in Sadio’s eyes that if he could turn the clock backwards he would do it.
“At that moment he was convinced he would score, he was a striker and a striker has to make a decision. I want him to make these decisions, but sometimes you have to accept that these decisions are wrong.
“I accept it. As long as you don’t do the same in the next 20 similar situations so that people start thinking: ‘What’s that about?’ You cannot play football without mistakes. He didn’t want to do it.
“Now he is completely different again.”