Football: Rodgers ignoring 'narrative' around Maddison

Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers with James Maddison during the Carabao Cup match against Everton at Goodison Park on Dec 18, 2019.
Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers with James Maddison during the Carabao Cup match against Everton at Goodison Park on Dec 18, 2019.PHOTO: REUTERS

LEICESTER (REUTERS) - Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers says he knows the real James Maddison and is ignoring the "narrative" which sections of the media have constructed around the midfielder.

Newspapers published photos on Monday (Feb 10) of Maddison "partying" in Dubai during the Premier League's mid-season break ahead of Leicester's return to action against Wolverhampton Wanderers on Friday.

The 23-year-old has previously been criticised for going to a casino on the night England lost a Euro 2020 qualifier to Czech Republic last October after withdrawing from the squad due to illness.

"People want to fit a narrative around him so I don't worry so much about that side. I know the reality of what he is and what he gives," Rodgers told reporters.

"It's unfortunate. We're supposedly in this world where everyone 'cares'. Rubbish - the first thing they do is try to stitch you up.

"This is a 23-year-old boy who is single, he's been given a week free. We try to educate them in many ways but this is something I'm not too bothered about."

Maddison has scored nine goals in all competitions this season for Leicester, who sit third in the Premier League.

He has been tipped to earn a spot in England's Euro 2020 squad after making his senior debut in a 7-0 win over Montenegro last year.

"He is a talent, what we try to educate off the pitch is to focus every day on training, and how important training is. It's not just about the talent, you have to work at your talent," Rodgers added.