Leeds United: Roofe gets support from rival front man

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Before he walked out for Saturday's win over Rotherham United, Kemar Roofe had Patrick Bamford in his ear telling him to 'be more selfish' with the ball. Roofe's hot streak of finishing might be pinning Bamford to the bench but their relationship is falling on the right side of the competitive line.

Bamford spoke of his ambition of being the “main man” at Leeds, the club’s established number nine, when United paid £7m to sign him from Middlesbrough but his first few weeks at Elland Road have cast him in a supporting role, behind the in-form Roofe.

It is Bamford, nonetheless, urging his fellow forward to take every chance he can to increase his tally of goals further.

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Roofe delivered in the 71st minute, wrapping up a 2-0 victory against Rotherham with a sweet finish at the end of a brilliant Leeds attack. A week after claiming a lethal brace at Derby County, the former Oxford United striker stole the show again.

Leeds United's Kemar Roofe and head coach Marcelo Bielsa. PIC: Richard Sellers/PA WireLeeds United's Kemar Roofe and head coach Marcelo Bielsa. PIC: Richard Sellers/PA Wire
Leeds United's Kemar Roofe and head coach Marcelo Bielsa. PIC: Richard Sellers/PA Wire

Bamford has seen all of 21 minutes in the Championship so far this season, waiting patiently for a chance which might take some time to come if Roofe’s maintains his form.

“It’s healthy competition, there’s nothing bad,” Roofe said. “I got words from Patrick before the game – ‘be more selfish’ – and people say we’re meant to be competing against each other. He wants me to score.

“That’s the same with everybody. We just want to win games as a squad. There’s no pressure because if I don’t score someone else will score. It’s ‘as long as we win’.”

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Roofe was a £3m signing in 2016, at a time when £3m represented a major fee for Leeds. Goals refused to come regularly in his first season but he finished last term as United’s top scorer and is raising his performance level again under Marcelo Bielsa.

Supportive, Leeds striker Patrick Bamford.
 PIC: Bruce RollinsonSupportive, Leeds striker Patrick Bamford.
 PIC: Bruce Rollinson
Supportive, Leeds striker Patrick Bamford. PIC: Bruce Rollinson

“I’m just trying to do my bit for the team,” he said. “I’ve watched games back and there are areas where I’m disappointed, where I can improve.

“The good thing is that with the gaffer and coaching staff, they put clips together of our performances and tell us where we are going wrong. They also show you where you’re doing well.

“I will need to watch (his goal against Rotherham) back because when I’m in the game I don’t remember what actually happens. I’m in the zone. But when I watch it back I probably will be impressed.”

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Leeds hold the only 100 per cent record in the Championship after three games. They will play another unbeaten side, Swansea City, at the Liberty Stadium tomorrow night, their first visit there for more than seven years.

Kemar Roofe. PIC: Bruce RollinsonKemar Roofe. PIC: Bruce Rollinson
Kemar Roofe. PIC: Bruce Rollinson

Bielsa’s squad face a demanding schedule, with their trip to Wales followed by another long journey to Norwich City on Saturday. United’s boss has maintained an unchanged line-up in all three Championship matches so far but is likely to rotate players over the course of a hard week.

Speaking at the end of the win over Rotherham, Roofe said attention would turn quickly to Swansea. He said: “That’s the thing, the momentum and the winning mentality. It’s to keep doing it.

“Forget about this game, forget about the other games because they don’t mean anything now. It’s about Swansea and what we actually put out on the pitch at Swansea.”