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Klopp: AfCoN heartbreak can spur Salah

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp hopes that both the club and Mohamed Salah himself can benefit from the Egypt international’s Africa Cup of Nations despair.

Yet the Reds boss doesn’t believe it possible for the 29-year-old, who has scored 148 goals in 229 appearances for the club with whom he has won the Champions League and Premier League, to have any greater determination to succeed.

Salah’s side lost to clubmate Sadio Mane’s Senegal on penalties in Sunday’s final, with the current Premier League top-scorer not even getting the chance to take a spot-kick in the shootout.

Salah returned to England the following day and was training with the Liverpool squad on Tuesday as he looks to get straight back into action against Leicester on Thursday.

“Yes, he is happy to be back but he is disappointed as well, massively so,” said Klopp.

“Losing a final is always really hard – I can sing that song – but losing the way they lost it was especially hard and that is what he felt as well.

“He will deal with that, of course, and I hope today will already be better, but yesterday everyone could see he still has the final in his mind.”

Klopp was asked whether the positive to come out of Salah’s disappointment may be a renewed focus on Liverpool’s current challenge on four fronts.

“Greater determination than Mo already had? I am not sure that is human,” he said.

“Yes, that all helps in the long-term, but I don’t think there is a lot of space for more determination in Mo’s mind.

“He is very determined. Using these kind of things is the job of all of us.

“When you lose a final, which we are obviously the best example for, it is really, really hard, but if you use it for the next big game or next big tournament then it can at least still be helpful, even if it was really hard.

“He will benefit from it, we will benefit from it – but which kind exactly I don’t know.”

While Salah could be thrust straight back into the fray against Leicester at Anfield, Mane’s reintroduction will take longer.

“It’s such a big thing – everyone could see the celebrations in Senegal – and we didn’t want to stress anyone there and ask for Sadio back early, so just enjoy it and come back as early as possible, I think it will be tonight,” added the manager.

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