Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers hails James Maddison’s ‘immense’ quality

Sonia Twigg, PA

Brendan Rodgers likened James Maddison’s quality to that of Kevin De Bruyne following Leicester’s 2-0 win at Fulham.

Leicester took the lead in the 17th minute with a well-crafted move from Maddison as the England international became a focal point for his side’s attacking threat during the first half.

The 24-year-old sent a well-timed cross into the box which was headed past Alphonse Areola by Kelechi Iheanacho, before turning provider for James Justin to round the keeper and tap home to finish a another fine move.

In the absence of striker Jamie Vardy, the Foxes had earned just one point from matches against Everton and Leeds, but they bounced back at Craven Cottage, with Maddison a key part of their dominance.

Leicester celebrate a goal
James Maddison, centre, set up both of Leicester’s goals (Peter Cziborra/PA)

“He’s (Maddison) got immense quality, the cross that comes in, if it was Kevin De Bruyne everyone would be talking about it, an unbelievable cross,” said Rodgers.

“He’s created lots of moments for the team and we haven’t quite got the finish… his skill on the edge of the box for the second goal, he is an absolutely outstanding young player and I am so happy he plays in my team.”

After a disappointing week for Fulham where crucial games at Brighton and West Brom ended in draws, Scott Parker’s men remain without a win in 11 league matches since the reverse fixture in November when Fulham won 2-1 at the King Power Stadium.

“I thought we huffed and puffed tonight in both boxes really,” Parker said.

Brendan Rodgers chats to Scott Parker after the game
Brendan Rodgers chatted to Scott Parker after the game (Mike Hewitt/PA)

“The key moments were their quality in the attacking third for their goals. A good finish and then the detail in their counter-attack in terms of the decisions they made against a very good team and top players.

“We wasn’t able to take out moments, not with shots just the final details, I thought we created very well but fell a little bit short tonight.

“Endeavour and work-rate, a good performance in certain aspects of our games, but we understand what we need to do and we need to start winning some football matches and this one’s now gone.

“We’re at the stage in the season where there’s one clear focus and one clear objective and that’s to win games and we’ve fallen short against a very good side tonight and we now move on and look towards the weekend.”

Fulham remain seven points from safety and have struggled at the top end of the pitch all season, netting just 17 top-flight goals.

“I thought we played some good stuff without really causing them too many problems,” Parker said.

“I see a team in my team that can win football matches here and maybe people will say I’m a little bit mad saying that because we’ve won two all year.

“But there’s 17 games left this season, and lot of football to be played, we’ve seen in a short space of time what a couple of results can do.

“Am I looking at team wilting away to a slow death? Not at all. I see a team that are fully committed to understanding the job in hand. We’re at a stage now where we need to win games.”

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