Former Leicester City boss Martin O’Neill has told James Maddison to forget about the numbers and focus on doing what he does best to force his way into the England World Cup squad.
Maddison was a revelation in Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Manchester United. The midfielder set up Kelechi Iheanacho for Leicester’s goal with a sublime cross from the left. Maddison thought he had won the game with a close-range finish. Unfortunately for him and the Foxes the goal was chalked off by VAR.
Even so take nothing away from Maddison he had a great game and is back to his best. Following a slow start to the season his confidence is up and he is back in the groove.
Leicester benefitting from Maddison form
In the last 15 games Maddison has scored seven goals and provided four assists. With the World Cup fast approaching his return to form could not be better timed.
Maddison is obviously keen to force his way into the squad and will be trying his best. Speaking after the draw at Old Trafford he said it would be a dream to go to Qatar.
Spurs defender on the move to Leicester or Wolves this summer
Tottenham defender Cameron Carter-Vickers on loan at Celtic is a target for Leicester and Wolves this summer
“As an English player that is the pinnacle that is the dream,” he told Optus Sport. “I always watch England and think how can I do better to get into the squad. But I will keep playing how I am playing, keep knocking on the door and that is all I can do.”
Speaking as a pundit for Optus former Foxes boss O’Neill agreed he is in great form.
“When he is fit and firing I think he is very important indeed,” O’Neill said. “He has had a tough time and is fighting back now and it’s a good time with the World Cup not far away. Overall he is a very decent footballer.”
Forget the numbers
O’Neill did have one piece of advice though after Maddison talked about getting his ‘numbers up’. He has told the midfielder to stick to what he does best and the rest will follow.
“He’s had a very good game,” O’Neill added. “But he talks about numbers. I think players get obsessed about numbers. Just go out and play and do what you are good at and don’t think about numbers.
“Just play your own game and how you can influence a match and he had a good influence today.”
Competition for a place in the Three Lions midfield is hotter than ever. But if Maddison carries on Gareth Southgate could have a huge headache.