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Last Updated: 01/12/18 12:53pm
Ahead of the Merseyside derby, Mohamed Salah talks winning the Premier League this season, facing Everton and breaking records
Salah is expected to make his 50th Premier League appearance in the Merseyside derby on Sunday – live on Sky Sports – which will be his fourth derby against Everton after a stunning debut season with Liverpool.
His record haul includes scoring the most goals in a 38-game Premier League season, doing so 32 times, overtaking the likes of Luis Suarez, Cristiano Ronaldo and Alan Shearer.
Before taking on Liverpool’s local rivals, Salah sat down with Laura Woods to talk winning trophies and the Premier League title, the Merseyside derby and his record-breaking 207/18 campaign…
Liverpool vs Everton
December 2, 2018, 4:00pm
‘I want to be Premier League champion this season’
“My target last season was not only to break the record, but to also to win something with the club,” Salah said. “We were very close to the Champions League in the final, but this is football where you have to accept the result.
“This time, I can’t say my individual one, I would like to say it at the end of the season but my first target is to win something with the club. It would be huge for us as a club, as a team, as players so it is also a dream for the city, for the players, for the fans so I think this season, we are going to do something.
“From my side, I want to be the champion of the Premier League at the end of the season. The last game, we play at home on the May 12 – I know everything about it already – so we will fight hard to win the Premier League. I wish on the last day we are the winners and to be the champion.
“I want to be the champion of the Premier League at the end of the season. The last game, we play at home on the 12 May – I know everything about it already – so we will fight hard to win the Premier League.”
Mohamed Salah on his Premier League title ambitions
‘The derby here is something different’
“I didn’t know much about it before I came here,” Salah added. “I just heard about it but in the last game when we played at Anfield, the atmosphere was crazy. I didn’t expect it at all. I used to play for Roma and they had a derby there but here, it is something different. The stadium was completely full and the fans were unbelievable, the atmosphere was crazy. I like it a lot.
“The passion for the city, the passion for the fans, for them, this is the most important game in the season. You must win the derby so it’s something that pushes us as players from deep inside to give more. Even if it is two per cent more, that is something that will help a lot during the game so that’s the special thing about the derby.
“Everton are much better, they play more football and I respect them. They got a good result in the Premier League last weekend so they are a good team and better than last season. But in my mind, if I go to the game and we are losing, it doesn’t make any sense so I am sure we are going to beat them on Sunday.
‘Title pressure is healthy for all of us’
“Man City put pressure on us and we put pressure on them so I think there is something healthy for all of us,” Salah said. “Each game, you must win because Man City will go to win and for them, it is the same because Liverpool will go to win. So that is something good for us, both teams.
“It is very strange, though. It is the start of December and we are beating other teams but we are not first. It is something very strange in this country. But it is something I like. I like the competition, I like the way they win so it is something good.
“At the moment, we are playing every three days which is good for us because we are in a good shape and good mood. You have to stay strong in your mind because every three days you’re playing a game so it doesn’t matter what happened in the last game, you have to keep focusing on the next one and take the positive things from the last game. I think the one who is stronger mentally will be the ones who will win the Premier League.”
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‘Breaking record was in my head 24/7’
“Scoring the most Premier League goals in a season – that was the target in my head,” Salah added. “After 20 goals I said, ‘the record for the Premier League is 31 goals’. I was even talking to Didier Drogba in that time and he told me ‘my bro, you’ll have to break my record’, which was his African record of 29 goals [in a Premier League season]. I said ‘I already broke it’, so I’m happy to score 32 goals and break the record. It was in my head 24/7.
“I think before this season started, everyone was saying because last season, I scored 44, this year I must score 50 at least. I’m not worried about that because I did that before, last season I mean. I just do what I love to do, to play football, to enjoy the game, to score goals. I don’t try to put more pressure on myself. I’m just happy to do that so I keep doing it.”
‘Everyone can change their position’
“During the game, as a manager, he [Jurgen Klopp] doesn’t like the player to stay in his position, so the front three can change, the midfield can change and even the centre-back can change their position,” Salah added. “It is something that helps the whole team because for other teams, when you change the position all the time, it’s something difficult for them to understand so it helps us a lot.
“He’s the manager so he decides everything but we are all happy because he doesn’t want to put you into a position where you’re not happy but everyone is happy about their positions. He also helps all of us, you can see the players with their attitude during the game and during the training, the manager makes it so he inspires the players to perform better.”
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