Saints waiting on Senegal pace ace

Southampton dangerman Sadio Mane
Southampton dangerman Sadio Mane
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SOUTHAMPTON should have a full squad to choose from for tomorrow’s home clash with Sunderland, despite having 16 players away on international duty in the past fortnight.

None of their players have returned with any problems, though African pair Sadio Mane and Emmanuel Mayuka only get back into training today.

Boss Ronald Koeman will wait to see the duo at Saints’ Staplewood base before deciding whether to include them in his plans for the Sunderland match.

“No players are back with injuries,” said Koeman.

“Still we have to wait about two players, the African players who will travel today.

“I will speak to them tomorrow, but about Mane and Mayuka normally we didn’t get a call about injuries or something and I expect everybody back in a good shape for Saturday.”

Speedy midfielder Mane got in the full 90 minutes on Wednesday night when Senegal lost 1-0 to Tunisia, going down to a goal in added time, in their Africa Cup of Nations qualifier.

Mayuka, meanwhile, netted for Zambia against Niger in their 3-0 victory.

Mane has impressed in recent weeks for Saints, though he marred his copybook with a costly miss in Southampton’s last game, the 1-0 defeat at Tottenham 12 days ago.

Koeman would appreciate having the Senegalese signing’s pace to test the Sunderland backline, though former Hull and West Brom frontman Shane Long is an option.

Long has struggled to make an impact for Saints, but Koeman said: “We believe in the qualities of Shane Long. I spoke to him (yesterday) and he’s confident in himself.”