'That's been missing, especially in midfield' – Maddison wants Owls effort to pave the way for something better
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When things have been so tough, one win can turn everything on its head – and James Maddison is hoping that will be Norwich City’s story following their stirring second-half comeback.
The Canaries were in a hole at half-time against Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday night, before Maddison equalised, then assisted Timm Klose’s bullet header and ultimately helped City to a 3-1 win at Carrow Road – three months to the day since their previous home Championship success.
That ended a seven game winless league run. Now the midfielder is aiming for something far more positive between here and the new year.
“When you’ve been on a run like we have been, that one win does change things,” said Maddison. “Now we can go to Leeds (on Saturday) with a bit of confidence, a team off the back of a second-half performance like that – which is very good – and take confidence from that. And as a team, we can now go into that game hoping to win.
“We need to take away this performance, the grit we showed. When you’re on a run like this, it’s easy to fold and crumble like we have done in previous results.
“But we’ve all stuck together. We’ve got Alex Pritchard back, which is a massive lift for the club. We’ve got a few more coming back from injury. Tom Trybull was back and Jamal Lewis will be back soon. So I think we’re looking on the up now.”
The City midfielder’s breakthrough season has been the standout positive from the campaign so far, and he gave an insight into the fire that helped turn things around at the interval on Saturday.
“At half-time we weren’t necessarily shouting at each other – more, let’s talk about what we have to do,” said Maddison.
“People can just go in and shout at each other, throw things around. But that doesn’t solve anything. We had a little talk, the boss spoke about a few little tactical changes and we went out.
“We know what it means when you’re on a run like this. We said boys, come on – we have to do this. We haven’t got a choice. We have to go out firing. I think we went out with a bit of fire in our bellies and it paid off.
“Definitely, that’s been missing at times. Especially in the midfield area. Mario (Vrancic) has been playing in more of a deeper role and he’s been good, he’s been winning headers and stuff, and you don’t necessarily associate that with Mario Vrancic.
“Harrison Reed gave us his normal fiery performance, getting about and getting in people’s faces, and I think it was a very pleasing victory for us.”
Maddison took plenty of plaudits for his own performance – but it was a team-mate’s half-time introduction that he felt did the business.
“Marley (Watkins) was brilliant and I said that to him afterwards – he changed the game for us to be honest,” added Maddison.
“His energy. His physical robustness. He won a few headers and flick-ons, which looked like they were going out of play.
“It was just little things like that which people may not notice. But he put in a hard shift and it gave us a massive lift.”
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