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Carragher hailed for giving Maddison “another spark” in front of goal

Brendan Rodgers has sent his thanks to Jamie ­Carragher for lighting a fire under James Maddison.

Leicester ’s boss said the Sky pundit had prompted a positive reaction from the England international.

Maddison heard the ­former Liverpool defender claim he needed to find the net more often.

And he acted on that advice, asking both the Foxes chief and the club’s analysts for ideas, showing his hand after the midweek defeat of Chelsea.

Rodgers said: “It has been a constant since the day that we came in here – that we have worked with James to improve him – but Carra’s words gave him another spark.

“The guys around me know that we have always given the strikers a target to produce. We work with them.

James Maddison scored in midweek

“But what I think was pleasing about James was that he didn’t become emotional in a negative way on what Carra was saying about him.James constantly analyses his game. He’s constantly talking about it.

“He loves football and is always looking for ways to improve. It was interesting that Carra’s words stuck in his mind as well, which was great. He thought, ‘Maybe I can get better’.

“I’ve tried to encourage that, but I think he’s a player that ­genuinely wants to improve.”

Maddison has netted five goals in his last seven outings.

He will be a key player in the next few weeks as Rodgers heads into today’s clash at Brentford without star striker Jamie Vardy, who is recovering from a hernia operation.

Maddison will take on increased responsibility and Rodgers thinks there is a misconception about the 24-year-old, which was dispelled after the honesty of his interview following victory over Chelsea.

He added: “There is a comparison to be made with Jack Grealish, Mason Mount and James.

Brendan Rodgers is pleased to see the midfielder scoring

“They are all great ­talents. But, in my opinion, they all offer different things to their teams.

“What I love about James is his personality. He’s such an honest boy. That interview he did was so refreshing.

“This boy hasn’t forgotten – among all the so-called glitz and glamour of the Premier League – where he’s from. That’s why you get such honesty from him.

“No matter where he is on his journey and path to be a top player, he understands it’s about fighting, working and learning… and being the best he can be.

“His personality has never changed.

“It’s great he gets the credit for being the way he was the other night.

“Before, it was deemed arrogant or cocky. He’s just got an inherent belief in his ability. And that’s OK.”

With 10 matches in the next 35 days, Leicester’s squad will be tested to the limit, but Rodgers is ­determined to keep his foot hard on the pedal.

He added: “I need ­players to produce against Brentford.

“I’m going to field as good a side as I can. We’ll do what we have to.

“And our intention is to attack every ­competition during the second half of this ­season.”




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