Daniel Farke lays down the gauntlet to Norwich City ace James Maddison
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James Maddison has the talent for the Championship but now Daniel Farke wants to see him handle the rough and tumble.
Maddison could be in line for a full league debut for the club against Fulham this weekend, with Alex Pritchard and Steven Naismith ruled out.
The 20-year-old signed a new longer term deal earlier this summer, and Farke is a big fan of the attacking midfielder.
“During the pre-season James has improved from day to day,” he said. “I think it is quite important for him to improve his physical condition. In the beginning perhaps he had some big problems in that area but he has worked very hard. I spoke to him and he knows that he is very good technically. He has an intuition for the game and he can control the rhythm and produce special moments on the pitch but for that he has to be in a physical condition to do it, like a top professional.
“He is working hard to achieve that and you can see that on the pitch. It was a really good performance from him against Brighton.”
Marley Watkins pressed his claims for a start at Craven Cottage with a superb goal to cap off a positive pre-season for Farke’s new squad.
“Marley is very flexible. He can play a number of roles. We have played him on the right wing and the left wing but we tried him in the striker position,” said Farke. “That was a little bit to do with not having Josh Murphy.
“We know he is able to score and work for the team. I got the feeling he would do very well and thankfully I was right.
“Like I said, I don’t go too deep with the results in pre-season but we have had some good results against hard teams. Brighton is a Premier League team, Charlton was not easy, the same in Germany. I am happy with the results. Really happy with the physical condition of a small group, who played the whole pre-season.
“Many of these players now have a good physical base for the season ahead and the testing shows we are on the right way.
“They had to get used to my ideas very quickly and you realise that when you watch them on the pitch. I am in a really good mood now but for sure we have to improve. The league is waiting and the Championship and cup is waiting. I am really looking forward to the start.”