Sakho thrilled to be back

Liverpool defender Mamadou Sakho has expressed his delight after returning to full fitness following a lengthy lay-off.

Sakho had been sidelined by a hamstring problem, but made his first start since December in last weekend's 2-1 win over West Ham and delivered an impressive display.

The Frenchman will now hope to play a part at Anfield on Sunday, when Premier League leaders Liverpool host Manchester City in a match likely to have a significant bearing on who wins the title.

Reflecting on his return to the starting line-up, Sakho told his club's official website: "I was very happy at West Ham as I'd worked very hard to get back to full fitness. So that's been achieved now.

"The most important thing here is the group, so you need to be ready to give your absolute best when you are called upon.

"It's normal when you are a competitor like me - you always want to be involved and be out there on the pitch trying to help out your team."

Sakho believes Brendan Rodgers' man-management has been a key factor in Liverpool's rise to the top of the table this season.

"It's a very important part of his work as there are some players who play less frequently than others and he manages to keep everyone feeling part of things and involved," the 24-year-old added.

"And by that I mean the entire squad, and so that's why when a player comes in to replace someone, he always stands up, because everyone of us is involved in achieving our common goal, an aim that we all share together."