(Photo: Action Images)
By Luke Baker
MARCUS Maddison, on his day, is the best player in League One, says his Peterborough boss, Grant McCann.
Maddison himself is understandably flattered but is not resting on his laurels as he targets more goals and greater consistency.
Assists are certainly not an issue for the winger as he had produced a League One high of 15 before the weekend.
Eight goals – including a spectacular strike against Charlton last weekend that featured a couple of stepovers before dinking the ball into the far corner – is also not a bad return, but Maddison admits he expected more after notching 13 last term.
Yet the 23-year-old is adamant that, as he gets older, he takes more pleasure in setting up his team-mates.
“Goals-wise I haven’t been as good this year, but assists-wise I’m up there,” he said.
“I’ve got to continue that and, if I’m helping the team win games, then that’s all that matters.
“I used to be a striker in the youth teams and goals are what mattered to me. But the more assists I get the more I realise there are both sides to the game.
“My all-round game has got to change as I get older. Goals do matter but they’re not the only thing.
“When I watched the Charlton game back, I thought I could have been better in the first half, but individual moments change games and luckily those moments came from me.
“I’m definitely trying to be more consistent. You’ve got to look at training differently, look after yourself off the pitch a bit more and approach games in the right way.”
Asked why the goals haven’t been as forthcoming, some players might respond with a platitude about the ball not falling right for them.
For Maddison, though, the reason for his reduced tally is clear – the constant niggles he was battling earlier in the campaign.
“It has been a bit of a stop-start year for me,” explained the former Gateshead man. “I got injured, which put a bit of a dampener on my season for a couple of months but I’m back to my best now.
“I played through injury, which hampered my performances. I know it’s a bit of an excuse but I wasn’t right.
“I’d say that’s the reason I haven’t got as many goals, but I believe they will come now.”
While Maddison’s season has been up and down, the same could be said of Posh.
The expected promotion push never really materialised and he concedes there is a sense of disappointment around the ABAX Stadium.
“We had a blip in December-January time but that happens in football. You have to pick yourself up and go again,” he added.