Mohamed Salah believes Manchester City rivalry 'makes us better'

Ahead of his side's top-of-the-table clash with Manchester City on Saturday, Liverpool's Mohamed Salah highlighted the rivalry between the two teams as a catalyst for the Reds' success in recent years. 

Speaking to the Liverpool FC official website ahead of the game at the Etihad, Salah shed light on the intense rivalry across the North West, emphasising how it fuels improvement within the team.

"It makes us a better team," he said. "It makes us better players and I'm sure it makes the manager a better manager as well."

Recognising the high stakes in each match, Salah highlighted the constant push City's success gives to perform better.

"When you always know that someone is going to win the games and someone is always waiting for you to lose a game, you always work harder than you usually do."

Collective responsibility

Also supporting that drive to achieve the best possible results is a collective responsibility within the squad, Salah said.

Speaking on his evolving role now as part of the so-called leadership group - alongside captain Virgil van Dijk, vice-captain Trent Alexander-Arnold, Andy Robertson and Alisson Becker - he acknowledged: "We need to really take a step forward and just try to handle everything."

The Egyptian stressed to need to support and guide younger players in order to "make everybody feel [at] home and just have a good group".

"I think the group is fantastic. The players are nice and have very good personalities. They just want to work hard and they just want to achieve stuff, which is a good thing. We try to help them. They need to help themselves and I'm sure they watch us [in] what we're doing and just try to learn."

Good relationships

One player who perhaps found it slightly difficult to adapt to his new surroundings in his first year at the club was Darwin Nunez.

Now, however, thanks to the support he enjoys from his teammates and an overall better understanding of each others' game, the Uruguayan seems to be benefitting and enjoying his football. In the league this season, he has scored four goals and laid on four assists: all to Salah.

Nunez's speed is an asset which hasn't gone unnoticed by Salah: "I think because we are both fast and we both have speed, it makes us understand each other's game."

"[I'm] just trying to give him assists, try to give him balls, he's always trying his best to give me the ball back."

That said, with the size of the Reds' squad and the plethora of options available in each position, Salah stressed the importance of adapting to whoever's on the pitch at the time: "If you understand their game, your game is going to be easier."

"So I'm trying always to understand the other players' games, so I know where I could be in that position with this player and with other players it's different. Kostas and Robbo [are] completely different, Darwin and Cody are also different. So I have to adapt with the players who are going to play and who's where."

Hard work

On a personal level, Salah has enjoyed an excellent start to the season and is just three goals behind the EPL leading scorer Erling Haaland on 10 goals.

Behind this, at the age of 31, is the meticulous attention Salah pays to his physical well-being.

"I really take care of my body," he said. "I know that if you want to achieve big things, you have to work really hard – that's science, it's not just me saying that."

"I always try to take care of the small details – treatment, gym. And you can ask everybody, I always try to come first and leave last. I dedicate my life for the game. I just want to be fit all the time, so you do small things and [they] make a huge difference in the detail."

Salah will be looking to add to his excellent goal scoring record against Manchester City on Saturday - an opponent against which he has already scored 11 goals.

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