Brendan Rodgers backs James Maddison to keep pushing hard for England recall

The midfield playmaker starred in Leicester’s Europa Conference League win away to PSV Eindhoven.

By Press Association Published: 15 April 2022 - 9.30pm

Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers has backed James Maddison to keep proving his England class as he chases a Three Lions recall.

The 25-year-old starred and scored in Thursday’s 2-1 Europa Conference League quarter-final win away against PSV Eindhoven to earn the Foxes a last four clash with Roma.

His strike in Eindhoven was his 14th goal of the season, his best return for Leicester, and Harry Kane and Tammy Abraham are the only Englishmen to score more than the attacker in all competitions this term.

Maddison, who earned his only cap in November 2019, has spoken about his desire to force his way back into the England squad, with the World Cup at the end of the year.

“All you can do is perform consistently well, work hard and be humble and keep proving a point,” said Rodgers.

“I think he has been consistent for a long period of time – his contribution to the game and his efficiency in terms of goals and his assists but also his pressing and his work.

“He can do no more (to get into the England squad). He is obviously playing at a very high level and contributing in big games.

“I thought he was wonderful in Eindhoven, especially in the second half, and in any team you are looking for efficiency.

“He is playing at a really high level, then it is just all about choice. He can’t do any more other than just stay consistent and focused. He is up there with his numbers and work-rate.

“The unfortunate thing for him is there are so many talented players in the positions he plays but he is certainly up there.”

Maddison scored with 13 minutes left at the Philips Stadion before Ricardo Pereira’s 88th-minute winner completed the comeback after Eran Zahavi’s first-half opener.

The Foxes won 2-1 on aggregate after a 0-0 draw at the King Power Stadium and host Roma in semi-final first-leg on April 28 – the first time in the club’s history they have reached the last four of a European competition.

Leicester now go to Newcastle in the Premier League on Sunday and Rodgers is confident Maddison can maintain his form.

“What you have with James and what I love is he has the personality, ability and belief at this level that he can play in the biggest games and contribute in the biggest games,” he said.

“You see his tactical ideas improving all the time and the confidence and spirit.

“He has big quality and I am delighted for him and the team.”

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