Captain Jordan Henderson hopes Mohamed Salah can continue his hot goalscoring run as Liverpool enter an important couple of months in their season.
The Egypt international was inspirational in scoring twice in the 3-0 win over Southampton to become the Premier League’s leading scorer on nine goals.
It is an impressive tally for a winger, who has 14 in 18 in all competitions – which is already equal to what Philippe Coutinho managed as the club’s leading scorer last season.
With Champions League qualification up for grabs in their penultimate group match in Sevilla on Tuesday and a busy December Henderson knows Salah, who was applauded off by his team-mates when he was substituted in the 80th minute, maintaining his form will be key for them.
“I just want him to keep going. He hasn’t taken his foot off the gas. He’s working hard in training and in the games. It’s not just his scoring it is his work-rate,” Henderson told LFCTV.
“He has been brilliant for all the season so far. He has to keep it going for us like all the players but it is a good start coming back after the international break.
“It is important for us over this busy period, it’s important to keep players fresh and raring to go – even those who are not starting.
“The big games keep coming but that is what we have to prepare for. We knew the next couple of months would be big for us.
“It was important after the (international) break to start well after all the good work we’ve done beforehand because sometimes it is difficult to get that momentum going when the lads have been away for some time. But there’s still a lot of work to be done.”
Just when Jurgen Klopp thought he would have his strongest squad of the season he lost defender Joel Matip to a groin injury on the eve of the Southampton game but it mattered little as the Saints did not manage a shot on target.
Salah’s first-half double told only half the story of the torment the Egyptian caused the visitors and Coutinho’s crisp finish midway through the second half added the finishing touches to a comfortable win.
Liverpool also registered their fifth clean sheet in six home league matches with Trent Alexander-Arnold impressing as he continued his rotation at right-back with Joe Gomez.
“He was really good, it one of his best performances over 90 minutes in defending. What he can do offensively everybody knows,” said manager Klopp.
“When he started he was a proper winger and sometimes a defender, and now he is a proper defender and sometimes a winger and that makes much more sense for this position.”
Gomez, England’s man of the match at centre-back against Brazil earlier in the week, is likely to replace Alexander-Arnold in Seville.
“This will happen over the next few weeks, we will have to make decisions,” added Klopp.
“Usually I don’t think too much about the next game, but in this case I have to think about the next 13 games.
“Joe had two games in the last week and it’s not a problem, he could have played but then for Tuesday I don’t think it would have been a big chance or a good idea to bring him again.”
Stay updated with the latest news, gossip and football stories by following us @Football_P