James Maddison

Maddison: A Tough Game, But A Brilliant Three Points

Attacking midfielder James Maddison praised Leicester City for the way they grew into the game and began to dominate before securing a hard-earned 2-0 Premier League win over Southampton.
More on this story...

- Leicester City picked the right moments to open up Southampton, says No.10 James Maddison
- The England midfielder found the net before the break to put his side in front
- Harvey Barnes added to Maddison’s opener in injury time to seal the win
- The Foxes moved up to second in the Premier League table thanks to the 2-0 triumph

Maddison’s excellent opener came after 37 minutes, when he lashed an effort past Alex McCarthy after Youri Tielemans registered the first of two assists against the Saints.

Then, with the game stretched in injury time, the Belgium international found Harvey Barnes, who slotted in his 10th goal of the season in all competitions for 2-0.

Elated to help secure the triumph at King Power Stadium, Maddison emphasised the tight nature of the opening 45 minutes, and why his strike came at the perfect time for the Foxes.

He told LCFC TV: “It’s a brilliant three points and we move on. I don’t think it was the best game for a neutral. It was a cagey first half and I don’t think we were great as a team.

"Personally, for myself, it was tough to get into the game because Southampton are such a solid team. They play in that 4-4-2, and the wingers, they’re not even really wingers. It’s kind of like a 4-2-2-2, because the wingers come so narrow.

“There’s not much space in there, it was a cagey game where we had to weather the storm, not that there was a storm from Southampton, but we just had to kind of get through that tough period where we couldn’t really get a foothold in the game.

“The goal helped, it came at a good time for us because the game was a bit stale. It was a quality pass from Youri [Tielemans] – a great weight of pass – and I managed to find a nice finish.

“That kind of sparked us into life, and in the second half, I thought we battled really well and got on the second balls, and were deserved winners in the end I think.”

It’s about trying to outwit the opposition because they know what I want to do, and the spaces that I want to pick up, and I know that they’re trying to stop that.

James Maddison LCFC TV

Maddison felt City did their homework well, and while their attackers were somewhat restricted by Southampton’s tight block, they picked their moments and successfully unlocked their opponents’ back line.

“In the build-up to the game, watching the clips of Southampton, we get given little iPads to watch the clips and the analysis of the opposition team, and the individual players,” Maddison explained.  

“You always find when Southampton play against a team, the creative players and the attacking midfield players of the other team find it hard to get into the game and get a lot of touches on the ball.

“So, I knew it was going to be a case of not having 70 touches of the ball today, but it was about picking the right moments and it’s still tough because they worked so hard.

“It’s about trying to outwit the opposition because they know what I want to do, and the spaces that I want to pick up, and I know that they’re trying to stop that.”

Video

Goals: Leicester City 2 Southampton 0

James Maddison and Harvey Barnes fired the Foxes to victory over Southampton.

Maddison took his tally to seven goals across all competitions this campaign, and says his method of setting targets does not see him look too far into the future.

"Short-term targets, I set myself, instead of long-term," he said. "I don't sit down, some people might, and it's not the wrong way to do it, there's no right way to do it.

"You do what you want to do, ultimately. I don't sit down and say I want 10 or 15 goals this season because then if you go for a few games where you don't score, it could start playing on your mind. You think: 'I might not hit my targets'.

"I try and set short-term targets and then if you hit them, brilliant. If you don't, move on, set a new target, that's just how I work.

"There's no right or wrong way to do it, but I'm hitting the short-term targets at the minute, I'm getting a good output."

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