Earning trust is a key focus for James Maddison ahead of first season at Norwich City
PUBLISHED: 18:01 25 July 2016 | UPDATED: 18:11 25 July 2016
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Earning the trust and confidence of Norwich City boss Alex Neil is the key objective for young Canaries midfielder James Maddison.
The 19-year-old hopes to make his Carrow Road debut when his boyhood team Coventry City arrive in Norfolk this evening (7.30pm kick-off).
The playmaker made 31 appearances for the Sky Blues after making his debut as a 17-year-old, earning a £2.5million move to Norwich in January, with the Canaries beating off reported interest from Tottenham and Liverpool.
Maddison returned to Coventry on loan for the second half of last season, making a further 11 appearances and playing alongside on-loan Norwich winger Jacob Murphy.
Now he is relishing the challenge of trying to force his way into the first team at Carrow Road.
“The quality, as expected, it is a step up from Coventry. No disrespect to the lads there but it is a step up, one that I’ve relished to be honest,” Maddison said.
“I think I’m fitting in quite well into the sessions and doing really well and getting good feedback, so it’s only going to make me a better player.
“I think one of my strongest assets is the confidence and belief in myself. I’m not arrogant or anything, I’m quite an honest guy but I know that I’m capable of putting in some good performances.
“So I just need to keep working hard and show the gaffer that I can do that and gain his trust, because at Coventry I think over the years you gain trust and respect but joining Norwich it’s going to take a while to get all that.
“But I’m working on that and it’s coming.”
The Coventry-born midfielder, who received his first England Under-20 call-up earlier this year but is yet to make his international debut, revealed he sang Hero by Enrique Iglesias as his initiation song during this summer’s training camp at St George’s Park in Burton.
And he feels he is settling into his new surroundings nicely.
“The lads have been really good with me to be fair, and all the staff as well to be honest, settled straight in to be honest and really enjoying it and getting to know the lads better,” he continued, speaking to Norwich City TV.
“Obviously I already know Jacob and Josh (Murphy) through Jacob at Coventry last season but all the lads have been brilliant with me so I’m really enjoying it.”
He admits facing Coventry will be an odd experience though, adding: “It’s going to be a strange one but one I’m looking forward to.
“Obviously I’ve got a lot of friends there and there will be a lot of familiar faces for me but I’m looking forward to seeing everyone, the manager and all the lads that I’ve got really good relationships with there, so it’ll be a good night.”
• Norwich City Under-18s will begin their U18 Premier League campaign with a home game against Swansea City on Friday, August 12 (1.30pm).
Trips to Brighton and Leicester follow, before the visit of Chelsea to Colney on Saturday, September 10 (11am).