James Maddison: Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers backs midfielder after casino 'mistake'

Brendan Rodgers and James Maddison
James Maddison is expected to feature in Leicester's Premier League match against Burnley on Saturday

Leicester midfielder James Maddison "knows he made a mistake" in visiting a casino after withdrawing from England duty, says Foxes boss Brendan Rodgers.

The 22-year-old pulled out of the England squad for the Euro 2020 qualifiers against the Czech Republic and Bulgaria through illness, but was pictured in a Leicester casino during England's defeat in Prague.

But Rodgers dismissed recent criticisms of Maddison's character.

"They're totally false," he said.

"I have seen in the last few months various stories around his arrogance, around his mentality - I'm not sure where the stories are coming from, but it's not what this boy's about.

"He's a very talented player, he has a belief in his ability. He is a wonderful personality on the field and he's actually a really, really good boy off it."

Maddison, who has scored three goals and made two assists for Leicester this season, is yet to make his England debut but had been named in the squad for the third time.

Rodgers said Maddison pulled out of Gareth Southgate's squad on the advice of England medical staff having contracted flu.

"The kid went away with the international team, he took ill whilst he was away," said Rodgers.

"He wanted to stay, and hopefully be ready for the second game, but the England medical staff - and you can understand it, he's got flu - they don't want it to spread to his team-mates.

"They decide that it's best for him to to to leave the camp, so he leaves. He gets some tablets with our guys here at the club. He feels better.

"He watches the game at home on his own on the Friday and he then goes out at half-time. Probably he'll make better decisions in his life, but he went to a casino on his own, to sit and watch the second half by a poker table.

"Now the suggestions are he left England purposely and then goes to casino - it's totally not the case at all.

"But his eyes have been opened to the wider world now in terms of what he did. He knows in hindsight that he's made a mistake."

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