James Maddison up for the fight at Norwich City
PUBLISHED: 15:30 16 May 2017 | UPDATED: 15:46 16 May 2017
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James Maddison is up for the fight to play a leading role in Norwich City's Championship revival next season.
Maddison scored on his league debut for the Canaries in a 3-1 win at Preston over Easter, but finds his way to the first team ranks blocked by Wes Hoolahan and Alex Pritchard.
The 20-year-old rejected the chance for a second loan stint at Aberdeen back in January to finally make his City breakthrough under Alan Irvine, and Maddison is desperate to impress the new head coach.
“I know what I am capable of,” he said. “I just need to take my opportunity and show whoever the next manager is next season what I can do and hopefully be a more regular part of the squad. It’s been a really frustrating season for the club, not even getting to the play-offs, but hopefully things will improve next season. I came off the bench three times after the gaffer was sacked and Alan Irvine took charge and I was really pleased with a goal on my debut.”
Maddison sparkled at Pittodrie earlier in the campaign and won the Dons’ goal-of-the-season for his superb match-winning free kick to beat arch rivals Rangers in the Scottish Premiership.
“I haven’t got a bad word to say about them and the only reason I chose not to return in January was because I wanted to go back to Norwich and fight for my place,” he said. “In the end I did get minutes on the pitch in the league so that wouldn’t have happened if I’d gone back up to Scotland. So I was really happy I made that decision.
“I had four good months at Aberdeen and whenever anyone asks me I can’t speak highly enough about the club. They are a great group of lads with a great manager, great fan base with really good away support, and a good stadium.”
Coventry-bred Maddison is back in his hometown this summer to help run a junior coaching course, alongside his former Sky Blues’ team mate Conor Thomas.
The attacking midfielder is confident former Norwich player Mark Robins can get his boyhood club challenging for promotion after relegation to League Two. Maddison was at Wembley to watch Coventry lift the Checkatrade Trophy against Oxford.
“Since I left the club I have become a supporter again,” he told the Coventry Evening Telegraph. “At Wembley I was in among the fans with my mates and it was a great day. Since he’s come in they’ve picked up and whenever I have seen them they’ve played well and it’s been a lot better football than earlier on. It’s just a shame he didn’t come in earlier and maybe confidence and results might have changed a bit earlier and they might have been able to stay up, but it was a case of too little too late in the end.”