James Maddison admits he suffered a crisis of confidence earlier this season, but now claims he has his “swagger” back.
The Leicester midfielder found himself out of the team last month following a slow start to the campaign.
But the 24-year-old is back with a bang after starring roles in wins over Manchester United and Spartak Moscow, and he backed up those displays with his first goal of the season to secure a 2-1 victory at Brentford.
“It’s probably the hardest (time) of my career if I’m being completely honest just because people from the outside, they don’t know what goes on, they don’t know my life,” Maddison told LCTV.
“I’m my own biggest critic. If you ask my family, my girlfriend, anyone, if I’ve had a bad game, I’ll watch the game straight away.
“I’m very critical of myself. I think at the start of the season, I wasn’t playing to the level I know I can.
“It’s disappointing and, at one point, I had a good chat with the gaffer (Brendan Rodgers) and I just said to him ‘do you know what? I’m actually a little bit low on confidence’.
“That’s the first time I’ve actually been able to hold my hands up and say that because it kind of puts you in a vulnerable position when you admit to the manager you’re a bit low on confidence.
“I was and that was me being honest and we looked at what makes me a good player, my best clips, all of that kind of stuff to try and get back to it.
“In the last few games, I’ve felt more like myself. I’ve felt more like I’ve got that confidence back. Especially in midweek, I felt like I got my swagger back, winning free-kicks on the half-turn and stuff. The stuff I do well.
“Sometimes you come away from that and overthink it and more goes on than just going out and playing well.”
Youri Tielemans fired Leicester ahead from 25 yards and Mathias Jorgensen equalised for Brentford before Maddison rolled in the winner 15 minutes from full-time.
Brentford have now lost three matches at home this season but boss Thomas Frank believes – with some justification – that they could have won them all.
“I think if you look at the three games where we lost at home, Leicester, we should have easily won this game, and Chelsea,” he said.
“Brighton should have been a draw, if not a win. I think it’s just the fine margins in football.”