James Maddison aims to emulate pal Jacob Murphy at Norwich City
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
James Maddison is taking inspiration from Jacob Murphy as he bids to force his way into Norwich City's first team.
The attacking midfielder rejected the chance of another potential loan stint in January to stay and fight for a place in Alex Neil's Championship plans after impressing at Aberdeen earlier in the campaign.
Maddison forged a formidable double act with Murphy when the pair were together at Coventry City and the wide player has emerged as a key figure at Carrow Road this season.
'Seeing him do so well is brilliant. He had a number of loans but he has finally broken through and become one of the first names the gaffer selects on the team sheet,' said Maddison, who has so far made one League Cup appearance for the Canaries against his old club. 'I know how much ability he has from playing with him last season and it is my aim to follow his lead now.
'My aims are to just keep training hard, showcase what I'm all about and hopefully force my way into the team. Whether that takes weeks or months, there will be an opportunity at some stage and it's up to me to take it.
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'It's all about just waiting for my opportunity because I know there are so many quality players to compete with in my position. When you are fighting for a place ahead of people like Wes Hoolahan, Steven Naismith and Alex Pritchard it is always going to be difficult. When my time comes, I know I have the quality to grasp the chance and stake a claim for a regular place.'
Maddison was part of the City party that travelled to Burton for last weekend's 2-1 Championship defeat, after recovering from a recent back problem. The 20-year-old, speaking to Brewers' media manager and football blogger Matty Roper, feels his Dons' stint was an invaluable experience.
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'After discovering that chances would be limited at Norwich, I just wanted to play games and Aberdeen appealed to me,' he said. 'I had already played a fair amount of League One games and I felt as if that would stand me in good stead. The prospect of playing against the likes of Rangers and Celtic in front of sold out stadiums was mouth-watering. I also featured in a cup final which was fantastic so the fact I was playing games and scoring goals will benefit me moving forward.
'There are plenty of hefty challenges put in on the flair players and I took a few knocks during my time there. With no disrespect to the Scottish Premiership, but it's very similar to League One – the style is alike but there are some fantastic players in both divisions.'