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Brendan Rodgers: James Maddison has shown courage to confront issues in his game

James Maddison (pictured) has been hailed by Brendan Rodgers (Zac Goodwin/PA)
James Maddison (pictured) has been hailed by Brendan Rodgers (Zac Goodwin/PA)

Brendan Rodgers has hailed James Maddison for showing the “courage” to confront and combat issues with his game.

Maddison has emerged from a tricky start to produce an impressive campaign for the Foxes and scored a fine goal in Thursday’s 1-1 draw at Chelsea.

The 25-year-old has notched 17 goals in all competitions this term for the east Midlands men, with Rodgers impressed with his honesty and hard graft.

“Listen, it’s all down to the player; what I’ve always tried to be with players, I always like to be clear and give them clarity on where they need to improve,” said Rodgers.

“He’s the type of boy that you can do that with, he’s very honest.

“Some players you do that and they won’t speak to you for 10 years.

“But he’s a kid that, you can tell him, he’s a young man now that’s maturing all the time.

“He was in a vulnerable place, but he showed great courage to recognise that.

“And it’s just about stripping back his game, and getting fundamentally the work into his legs, and focusing on that. And everything else then comes with James.

“Because he’s so talented, I love watching him play and I really enjoy seeing him in games, taking the ball, and how he can manoeuvre past top players, the threat he has, the confidence he has.”

Leicester will close their campaign by hosting Southampton on Sunday, where Rodgers’ men could yet jump to an eighth-place finish.

Rodgers challenged Maddison to up his work rate earlier in the campaign with the talented playmaker struggling to impose himself as in the past.

Maddison has responded by powering back to his best, leaving the Foxes boss impressed enough to believe an England recall is not out of reach.

“He knew in my teams you have to run, you have to work,” said Rodgers.

“And when you add that together for James Maddison, the intensity, the running, the work, you see how efficient he is. He’s one of the top English players over the last two seasons.

“So for him and England it’s only about preference. It’s just who Gareth (Southgate) prefers.

“You can’t argue with his talent – and his quality – and how he’s maturing as a footballer.”

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