Belfast Telegraph

Maddison has right attitude for England – Leicester boss Rodgers

Maddison has been called up to the England squad twice and has yet to make his debut.

James Maddison is yet to make his England debut (Tim Goode/PA)
James Maddison is yet to make his England debut (Tim Goode/PA)

By Sean Taylor, PA

Leicester midfielder James Maddison knows he is not entitled to England caps, according to his club manager Brendan Rodgers.

The 22-year-old was expected to make his senior debut against Kosovo this week after missing out during the Three Lions’ 4-0 victory against Bulgaria on Saturday. However, he was left on the bench at St Mary’s.

It was the second time Maddison had been called up by Gareth Southgate, having made the squad for the Nations League fixtures with Spain and Croatia last October. He did not play then either.

“I spoke to James and he really enjoyed his time away with England, even though he didn’t play. He’s a young player and he’s been doing great and playing well and he understands he is not entitled to anything,” said Rodgers.

“He is part of a young talented squad of players and not every player that goes there can play. He is determined to carry on working hard and playing well. He will hope with his talent that he will get some game time with England in the future if he keeps playing well for Leicester.

“I had him in the day after when he returned and it was a case of bringing him in and sitting him down and seeing how he was feeling.

“This is where the hard work begins because now he’s got to stay in the squad. He has to take his time and do the best he can for Leicester and then it is up to the England coaches.

“I’m sure in time he will show he has the attributes to play for England. He plays with a lovely arrogance but he’s not like that off the field.”

Meanwhile, Leicester resume Premier League action against Manchester United at Old Trafford on Saturday.

The game will see the Foxes come up against their former centre-half Harry Maguire, who left the King Power Stadium this summer to join Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side in an £80million deal.

Rodgers insists there will be no hard feelings and revealed he has kept in contact with the 26-year-old since his departure.

“I text him now and then and wish him the best when he plays with England,” said Rodgers.

“He’s a remarkable guy and a fantastic player. His behaviour typified him as a man. It was so difficult for him and right the way through, his behaviour was exemplary. He’s a good guy and you can see he’s made them better.”

With talk of Leicester perhaps being able to break into the top six in the Premier League this season, the trip to United could represent a marker. But Rodgers played down such talk saying: “It’s not a barometer for our ambition – our ambition is there.

“It’s a long season. I think we are really looking forward to a game against a top class team of a very high standard players at a great arena.

“We’re very keen to go there and put on a good performance that can get us a good result, so the players are looking forward to a very good game.”

PA

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