After Southampton forward Sadio Mane was surprisingly named on the bench for their weekend clash against Liverpool, manager Ronald Koeman revealed he was dropped as punishment for being late to the game, reports Sky
Mane, 22, came off the bench for the Saints in the second half, but many were surprised he wasn’t starting from the offset, given how desperate Southampton have been for goals in recent weeks. But Koeman was honest about the situation and said the Senegalese international was too late to the game, so dropping him was the only option possible to get his point across.
The team are supposed to meet up at 1pm, but Mane was alleged to have been 30 minutes late. Southampton lost the clash against Liverpool 2-0, which also saw them drop out of the top-four for the first time in two months. Koeman highlighted that anybody can be late, but not when the side have a very important clash against a top-four rival that afternoon. And while Sadio Mane has been impressive since his arrival, the structure of discipline for conduct had to be maintained.
“He was late for the pre-match. We have rules, instructions with the players. Everybody can be late one day in the morning, but you can’t be late at 1pm when you have to play against Liverpool. His explanation is between him and me, but he was too late. I can’t and I don’t accept that. If he has to pay a fine, he pays the fine. But the best way to keep the discipline in the team was not to pick him today,” said Koeman.
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