‘It can’t just be about him’: Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers warns his stars to avoid relying on James Maddison too much in their relegation fight, ahead of the England star’s expected return to action against Southampton
- James Maddison has been managing a knee issue and also suffered with illness
- The 26-year-old is expected to return for Leicester to face Southampton
- Brendan Rodgers has issued a warning to his squad over Maddison’s return
Brendan Rodgers warned his Leicester players to avoid relying too much on James Maddison as they approach a huge game in their relegation fight.
The Foxes playmaker has been managing a knee condition that has limited his ability to train, with Sportsmail revealing in February that Leicester had been sufficiently concerned to send Maddison for a scan prior to the 4-1 win over Tottenham.
The 26-year-old has missed Leicester’s last two games due to illness – and both ended in defeats to Arsenal and Championship side Blackburn – but he is expected to return on Saturday to face bottom club Southampton, who are six points below Leicester in the table.
With nine goals and five assists in the league this term, Maddison’s comeback could not be better timed.
‘Players like James Maddison make others better,’ said Rodgers. ‘He is a fantastic player – but it can’t just be about him. Others have to come forward and show what he does.
Brendan Rodgers (R) has warned his Leicester players to not rely too much on James Maddison (L) as the England international is expected to return to action against Southampton
The Foxes lost both games in his absence including an FA Cup defeat to Blackburn Rovers
‘But when he is on the field his influence spreads throughout the team. He never hides from the ball. He has the courage to take it and get the team playing.’
Maddison’s injury trouble this season has laid bare has laid bare his importance to Leicester. With him in the starting XI, they average 1.3 points per game. When he is not in it, that average falls to 0.5.
The former Norwich man was made captain against Spurs and Manchester United and is likely to regain the armband at St Mary’s, with both Jonny Evans and Youri Tielemans injured.
‘It’s a really big game – there is no point saying otherwise,’ Rodgers added.
‘The players will know that and we cannot hide from it. We are not in the position we want to be in.
Maddison has been managing a knee issue since the World Cup and also suffered with illness
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