Sadio Mane thanks Liverpool fans for easing pain of AFCON exit

Sadio Mane celebrates scoring during the Premier League game between Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur on February 11, 2017
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Liverpool forward Sadio Mane thanks supporters for easing the pain of being blamed for Senegal's recent exit from the Africa Cup of Nations.

Sadio Mane has paid tribute to Liverpool supporters for standing by the players following their recent tough run of form.

The 24-year-old was absent for the majority of the Reds' dismal streak, which saw them win just one of 10 games in all competitions to exit both domestic cups and slip well off the title pace.

Mane was to thank for putting Liverpool's season back on track last time out, scoring twice in the space of 138 seconds against Tottenham Hotspur to earn his side a straightforward 2-0 victory at Anfield.

Following his impressive showing at the weekend, Mane was quick to thank Liverpool fans for helping to nurse his own personal heartbreak, having missed the decisive penalty in Senegal's quarter-final defeat to Cameroon two weeks prior.

"I want to thank all the supporters for what they have done for me," he told the Liverpool Echo. "I was very happy to hear that when I came off against Tottenham. Having that support means so much. It has really lifted me since I came back.

"They give the team so much. I know that sometimes it hasn't been easy for them but they are always behind us and always pushing us. We try to give our best for them. [When away with Cameroon] it was difficult because the results were not so good.

"When we weren't playing or training, I was watching the Liverpool matches and wishing the best for my teammates. Even when I am not here, my heart is always in Liverpool. Now we have bounced back and we have to keep it like this."

Mane has 11 goals and four assists in 22 Premier League appearances this season, putting him joint-seventh in the top scorers chart despite spending a month away.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp watches on during his side's Premier League clash with Manchester United at Old Trafford on January 15, 2017
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