Champions League possible for Southampton, says Mane

Sadio Mane believes Southampton can maintain their storming start to the season and win a place in the Champions League by the end of the campaign, the Daily Star has reported.

The Saints are second after 11 games, four points behind unbeaten leaders Chelsea, four clear of defending Premier League champions Manchester City and seven ahead of fifth-place Swansea City. Ronald Koeman’s side beat Leicester City on Saturday, their fourth-straight win and eighth league victory of the season.

Mane admits a top-four finish would be a huge achievement for the south coast side and while he insists the squad aren’t getting ahead of themselves, sees no reason why they can’t qualify. “The Champions League is something amazing and in football everything is possible,” the Senegal forward said.

“My man focus is to take it game by game and see where we are at the end of the season. That is true with most of us in the squad,” Mane continued. “The Champions League is a very high target but why not?”

Mane moved to English football from Salzburg in a £11.8m transfer and said the pull of the Premier League was such that when Southampton came calling, he barely had to think about his decision. “It was always a dream for me to play in the Premier League so the chance to move here was a no-brainer,” the 22-year-old confirmed. “I watched every single game on TV before I came here.

“I enjoy playing for Southampton for the atmosphere and the fans are amazing. I have settled in quickly so I am very happy,” he added.

Mane has made seven appearances under Koeman, scoring twice, netting in the 8-0 win against Sunderland and getting the only goal of the 1-0 victory over Stoke City.

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