‘I owe a lot to Daniel and Norwich’ - England star’s debt to Canaries
James Maddison admits he will forever be in debt to Norwich City and Daniel Farke.
The 22-year-old is firmly in England manager Gareth Southgate's thoughts for their Euro 2020 qualifier against Kosovo at Wembley Stadium on Tuesday night after an impressive start to the season with Leicester City.
It is a far cry from when he arrived at Carrow Road from Coventry City in 2016 and found his route to the first team blocked under Alex Neil. A change of manager, or head coach as it turned into, altered Maddison's career trajectory and he hasn't looked back.
Fourteen goals and the club's player-of-the-season gong earned him a Premier League shot with Leicester and he now stands on the verge of his England debut. However, Maddison insists he has a lot to thanks City for.
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"I'm a lad who's always played: when I went to Norwich it came as a bit of a shock that I couldn't get the minutes I wanted," he said. "I'd been on the bench at Coventry at age 16, so I wasn't expecting to be left out of the squad.
"That's why I went out on loan, but when I came back I still might not have got a chance without a new manager coming in. That was like a fresh slate for everyone and I obviously impressed him. He put me in on the first day of the season and I never looked back.
"I'm very happy with the way things have gone since but I owe a lot to Daniel and Norwich. Their result is always the first one I check and I'm pleased to see they have made a good start in the Premier League with (Teemu) Pukki in great form up top."
Maddison was part of the England Under-21 side that failed in the group stages in the summer with the midfielder accused in the post-mortem of being 'over-confident'. Maddison claimed England were still the best team in the tournament despite having been beaten by both France and Romania.
"Looking back we might think we were overconfident, though it didn't seem like that at the time because we worked very hard," he said. "We probably did think we were one of the best teams in the tournament and with the talent we had, I don't feel stupid saying that. But we had a player sent off in the first match then lost to Romania in a must-win game. I don't think I've ever had a worse feeling in football, to be honest, but as Gareth Southgate keeps saying, you have to learn from experiences like that.
"What did I learn? That tournament football is different. It's important to think about game management, because you don't get second chances."