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James Maddison reveals he listened to criticism

Leicester's James Maddison says it's a great psychological boost to go top of the Premier League even if it proves to be for a short time following a 'complete performance' against Chelsea.

Source: Sky Sports


Interviewer (00:00)
James, just how complete a team performance was that that sends you to the top of the Premier League?

Interviewer (00:05)
Yeah it sounds nice doesn't it, the top of the Premier League. Probably for about 24 hours but it's a good one psychologically because we've worked really hard and half of the season now and to be sitting top is a great achievement for us and one we can definitely build on. But yeah like you said I don't think you'll see a more complete team performance from us this season - so far I should say. It had a bit of everything. It had a bit of tactical nous, it had a bit of quality when needed. We work hard every time on stifling the opposition threats, and I thought we did that brilliantly today. Credit to the manager as well. We had a little switch at halftime to go to, almost a bit of a 442 out of possession, 433 in possession stay the same. But just little things like that, thinking on our feed and I thought the lads out there, we dealt with the threat that came our way and thoroughly deserved three points.

Interviewer (00:48)
Is that the key to it the combination of all of that, plus you all do the dirty work and you've all got each other's backs, it looks like?

James Maddison (01:00)
Yeah, well, you don't play for Brendan Rodgers if you don't do the dirty work so simple as that. He always reiterates the words to you that it's a running game. You can't have passengers. You can't carry anyone in this league, especially when - a team like we are, we need to stay together if you want to stay up there for the longevity of the season. There might be teams that are able to spend a lot to bring in quality from abroad and pay big wages for big players. But that team spirit and that togetherness that is here at Leicester City for all to see, and we will continue and we’ll keep doing to try and keep us at the top of the table.

Interviewer (01:33)
That first goal, was that very much a Brendan Rodgers training ground move? Innovative.

James Maddison (01:38)
Yeah, yeah, we worked on it. We looked at Chelsea and little short corners and being creative we looked - they switch off sometimes on set pieces and we knew that was something that we could pick on. We haven’t scored enough goals from set pieces. I’m pulling my hair out sometimes, as the corner taker, you put it in there and you look at the stats that come up in games and “goals scored from set pieces: Leicester City bottom of table 0.” So, really nice to see one come off - a bit of a relief actually. And it's always nice when you work on one and it comes off. We didn't quite have the miss-hit shot from Harvey Barnes to set up Wilfred Ndidi to slice it in, but we’ll take it.

Interviewer (02:10)
What about you? That’s 5 in 7 - right now goals are flying in for you. What’s that down to?

James Maddison (02:14) Working on my game. Improving. I remember a game we played — we played Sheffield United earlier in the season. I always watch the games back and Jamie Carragher said in commentary “he needs to get his numbers up, James Maddison if he wants to be challenging for the England spots, and being talked about in the same bracket as others. He needs to get his numbers up.” Me, the gaffer and Jack the analyst sat down — Jack will be buzzing because I’ve name-dropped him — sat down and looked at where I can get more goals. Playing a bit deeper as a number 8 today, and little things like breaking into the box, getting beyond that last line and really…kinda, almost smelling where the ball is going to drop. It’s not an easy thing to do. Frank Lampard was the best at it, arriving late and scoring goals and that’s what I did today. Marc Albrighton — I saw him get his head up and I just kind of drifted on to the back line. That’s something I’ll keep improving on, scoring goals, because everyone wants numbers. I want numbers, because I want goals and assists, I want everyone talking about me. So it’s part of my game that I’m looking to improve on, and I’m getting a good return at the minute.

Interviewer (03:21)
So, top tonight. It could be fleetingly — but you’ll embrace it. It is this a flag in the sand? “We’re contenders, this is so open, the race this season. Are Leicester City genuine contenders?

James Maddison (03:34)
I’m going to have to be boring with my answer and say…

Interviewer (03:36)
Why not go the other way? Why not say “yeah…”

James Maddison (03:38)
Because then you can get side-tracked I think. We need to just — because, we’re top of the table at the minute because we don't think like that! And listen, the next game, and as boring as it is I'm sorry I have to say it Geoff, but the most important game is the next game. It was Southampton last week, it was Chelsea this week and then it's Brentford in the FA Cup and as cliched as it is, that's how we’ve got to work and that's why we’re top of the table because we have that mentality. And that's where we want to be. We’re not up there by a fluke, we’re up there because we work hard. And listen, people might talk about the Uniteds, the Liverpools, the Tottenhams or whatever but lets let them talk. We’ll do our business in the background and come the end of the season hopefully it’ll give us a chance of being right up there.

Interviewer (04:17)
Nice feeling though, isn’t it?

James Maddison (04:18)
Yeah brilliant. I’ll probably go and check the table when I go in there!


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