James Maddison

I've Got My Swagger Back, Says Maddison

James Maddison hailed a 'massive week' for Leicester City after netting the winner in a 2-1 victory at Brentford – while also opening up about his return to form after 'probably the hardest spell' of his career.
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- Leicester City beat Brentford 2-1 in the Premier League in west London on Sunday afternoon
- Youri Tielemans struck a stunner and James Maddison bagged the winner for the Foxes
- City's No.10 provided an honest insight into a period he calls 'the hardest of his career'
- He also paid tribute to the performance of the team and the quality of Tielemans' strike

City led in west London through a stunning long-range drive from Youri Tielemans, but they were pegged back in the second half by Zanka's glancing header. Under pressure, the Foxes remained resolute and Maddison completed a flowing counter to score his first goal of 2021/22 late on.

That success over the Bees follows earlier wins against Manchester United and Spartak Moscow and, for Maddison, who has contributed notably to all three triumphs, it has been a key eight days. He also described Sunday's success over Brentford as the hardest test of the three fixtures.

"It’s a massive week," the 24-year-old told LCFC TV. "When you play Man Utd at home, every game against them at the minute is magnified because Cristiano Ronaldo’s back. That felt like a really big game, which we did really well in. We then travelled to Moscow and got a win in the Patson Daka Show!

"We travelled back, with not much rest time and not much training, and that one was probably the toughest out of the lot to be honest, to come here and win. They put you under so much pressure. It’s a brilliant week for the Club."

On Tielemans' stunning opener, Maddison continued: "I was behind it. I tried to play almost like a quick free-kick into Kelly (Kelechi Iheanacho) and the defender just headed it out to Youri and I don’t think I’d want it to fall to anyone else apart from Youri Tielemans at the minute.

Patson, as a guy, is so nice, so humble, so hard-working. He’s not got a greedy bone in his body. I always believed that he was going to square it to me.

James Maddison LCFC TV

"It was such a clean strike, it’s just a beautiful goal, and he’s playing at a really high level at the minute."

For Maddison's winner, the move started with Kasper Schmeichel, before Iheanacho fed Tielemans to play a first-time pass into Daka. The Zambian then located Maddison to finish, ending a spell without a goal for the Foxes. The former Norwich City man had no doubt he'd get the pass.

"Patson, as a guy, is so nice, so humble, so hard-working," he said. "He’s not got a greedy bone in his body. I always believed that he was going to square it to me. I was screaming just in case he wasn’t! But it was a brilliant pass from Kelechi, a great run, and it’s my job to try and keep up because he’s so quick.

"I was there for the tap-in and thankfully he squared it with good awareness and good vision."

Maddison also honestly assessed his recent form for the Foxes, outlining the dedication he has put in during training to ensure he returns to his best. 

He explained: "It’s probably the hardest [time] of my career if I’m being completely honest just because people from the outside, they don’t know what goes on, they don’t know my life. I’m my own biggest critic. If you ask my family, my girlfriend, anyone, if I’ve had a bad game, I’ll watch the game straight away.

"I’m very critical of myself, especially when you’re a player… stats are one thing, goals and assists, that’s one thing. Even just playing well to the level you know you can... I think at the start of the season, I wasn’t playing to the level I know I can.

First Team

Tielemans & Maddison Secure Brentford Triumph

Watch the goals as Leicester City beat Brentford 2-1 in the Premier League.

"It’s disappointing and, at one point, I had a good chat with the gaffer and I just said to him: 'Do you know what? I’m actually a little bit low on confidence'.

"That’s the first time I’ve actually been able to hold my hands up and say that because it kind of puts you in a vulnerable position when you admit to the manager you’re a bit low on confidence. I was and that was me being honest and we looked at what makes me a good player… my best clips, all of that kind of stuff to try and get back to it.

"In the last few games, I’ve felt more like myself. I’ve felt more like I’ve got that confidence back. Especially in midweek, I felt like I got my swagger back, winning free-kicks on the half-turn and stuff. The stuff I do well.

"Sometimes you come away from that and overthink it and more goes on than just going out and playing well."

A spell on the sidelines allowed Maddison to work on the finer parts of his game and, over the past eight days, he feels he is returning to the high levels every Leicester supporter is familiar with.

First Team

Maddison: I Feel Like I've Got My Confidence Back

James Maddison speaks to LCFC TV after scoring the winner for Leicester City in Sunday's 2-1 victory at Brentford.

"After Brighton away, I got taken out the team for a few games," City's No.10 continued. "I was doing extras after training with sports science, doing extra finishing… I don’t want to be that guy who just settles. The gaffer challenged me to go and improve and go and try and get back to the level I know I can.

"I can be one of the best in the Premier League. It’s just about motivating myself because sometimes, when you’re not playing well, you sometimes try too hard a little bit. You can overthink it a little bit, like I just said. I’ve felt really good in the last few games.

"The win against Man Utd helped for the confidence. I felt good in the game. In midweek and today, I was happy to play three games in a week and come away unscathed and get those minutes in the legs, with a goal and an assist.

"I loved that today. I got fouled a few times and [opposition] fans don’t like when players win free-kicks and stuff, even though they’re clear free-kicks. Getting booed and chanted at by the home fans at Brentford, it was just motivation for me. I really enjoyed today."

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