MX23RW : Saturday, January 19 13:17:40

Puel tells Maddison to concentrate on club over country

Puel tells Maddison to concentrate on club over country
© Reuters
Star midfielder has returned from suspension.

Leicester boss Claude Puel has urged James Maddison to forget about an England recall for now.

The Foxes chief wants the 22-year-old to focus on his club football after a return to form against Watford.

The midfielder scored a brilliant volley in Saturday's 2-0 win – his first goal for over two months which came after he was sent off for diving at Brighton last weekend.

Maddison was called up for England's Nations League games against Croatia and Spain in October but did not play and Puel is eager for his star to keep focused.

He said: "It's not important for the moment. He needs to follow his way, follow his improvement.

"If he gets selected it would be good for him but selection or no selection wouldn't change anything about his improvement and what he needs to continue to perform.

"He has a lot of improvement to make, he scored a great goal but I'm not surprised because he has all the quality to perform like this but to do this all the time he needs consistency."

Puel – who compared Maddison to Glenn Hoddle – also believes his red card at Brighton, with his second yellow card coming for diving, has been a blessing in disguise.

"The sending off was a good thing for him, to take the right decision," the Frenchman added. "He was very upset with himself and he's a very intelligent player so when he plays with this attitude and the right mentality he is a fantastic player.

"Also he's a young player, he needs to improve step-by-step.

"He has a lot of quality to perform at a high level but I want him to keep his focus with his team and we can work together."

Maddison added to Jamie Vardy's early penalty to lift Leicester to eighth in the Premier League while Watford has Etienne Capoue sent off late on for a challenge on Kelechi Iheanacho, though the Hornets will appeal.

Boss Javi Gracia said: "I saw the incident clearly because it was right in front of me. I would prefer to say nothing but Iheanacho said Capoue didn't touch him. Yes, we will appeal. What happens doesn't depend on me."


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