James Maddison: Leicester midfielder ‘hungry’ for England recall

James Maddison: Leicester midfielder ‘hungry’ for England recall

Leicester playmaker James Maddison is “hungry” for an England recall in time to make it to this summer’s rearranged European Championship.

Since then, Jack Grealish and Phil Foden have staked strong claims to be in Gareth Southgate’s Euro 2020 squad.

Speaking to Football Focus, he said: “I know I am good enough. I just want that opportunity.”

England are scheduled to face San Marino, Albania and Poland in March as they begin their 2022 World Cup qualifying campaign.

After those fixtures, June friendlies against Austria and Romania represent the final opportunities for players to push for inclusion in the squad for this summer’s tournament.

“Hopefully that is something I can strive towards. That is not a target I will hide. I want to be back in the England squad, simple as that,” Maddison added.

“If that wasn’t my target there would be something wrong. I have come through the lower leagues and that feeling of representing my country against Montenegro was the best feeling ever.

“That is something I am very hungry for. That is why I am working every day, why I am staying out on the training pitch longer to help this Leicester team and ultimately break back into the England team.”

Maddison has scored nine goals in 29 appearances this term, with six goals and five assists coming in the Premier League for a Leicester side tucked in third place, behind the Manchester clubs at the summit of the table.

He credits his good form to Foxes manager Brendan Rodgers and his own desire to silence any critics.

“He [Brendan Rodgers] is a top-level manager, we are fortunate to have him here. Every single player is a better player under him, that is a fact. He cares about making you a better player,” Maddison added.

“When you have a manager who goes beyond to make you a better player, it is a great thing.

“I want to be the best player James Maddison can be. The way I can do that is put pressure on myself. I want everyone questioning me because that is what drives me.

“Some people like to go under the radar – and that is not wrong – but, for me, I want my name in everyone’s mouth.

“One of the things that has made me get a lot of goals and assists in the last few months is because I heard Jamie Carragher say my numbers weren’t good enough. I didn’t go into my shell after that, that was adding fuel to my engine.

“I always back myself and believe in myself because that has got me to where I am today.”

You can watch the full interview with James Maddison on Football Focus at 12:00 GMT on Saturday, 13 February.

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