Patrick Bamford picks out Leeds United youngster who made immediate impression and reveals dressing room feeling

Leeds United are firmly together ahead of an important clash against Burnley, says Patrick Bamford.

By Joe Urquhart
Saturday, 1st January 2022, 9:23 am
Updated Saturday, 1st January 2022, 9:24 am

The Whites host the Clarets at Elland Road tomorrow in the Premier League looking to put more daylight between themselves and the top-flight relegation zone.

Sean Dyche’s visitors sit five points behind Leeds – heading up the bottom three – with two games in hand though have won just once all season.

United have been ravaged by injuries in recent months, seeing no fewer than 10 senior players missing against Arsenal last time out due to knocks, suspension and Covid.

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Games against Liverpool and Aston Villa were postponed over the festive period, falling by the wayside due to a small coronavirus outbreak in West Yorkshire which left Marcelo Bielsa unable to field a competitive team.

Leeds, though, will return to on-pitch action against Burnley on Sunday afternoon fuelled by the same battling attitude they have held throughout the campaign.

At other clubs, cracks may have started to appear amid an injury crisis for the ages but at Thorp Arch there is a willingness from all involved to knuckle down and attack the situation at hand, including the heavily-relied upon youngsters.

“The group is very together and we have all been since Marcelo came in,” Bamford told the YEP of the feeling within the squad entering the new year.

Leeds United striker Patrick Bamford in action against Brentford last month. Pic: Getty

“It’s not like there’s the first team and the academy. We’re very much joined together because even sometimes Under-16s and Under-18s players will filter in and out of training during the week.

"You get to know everyone who is even 16 or 17. The group does get tight-knit. I think in any first team when a young player comes in you know straight away whether they’re going to deal with it.

“The majority of the young lads who have come in have settled in quickly and you can see that. Joffy [Joe Gelhardt] is a perfect example. The way he has trained with us and kind of put himself about, he was accepted into the group straight away.

“You can see by his performances he’s going to be a top player and he has done himself proud since coming into the team.”

Bamford added, on the injury crisis: "What the club has gone through is unheard of really. You don't ever see that many injuries, especially in one go. Maybe throughout the season you'd get them spread out but they have seemed to hit us all at once. It's just been unfortunate, we have really been down to the bare bones.

"It'll be nice when we come back to have a full team. This season everyone is saying Leeds are struggling but I don't think we've had a full 11 for two games in a row. So there's not been that consistency compared to last year. We will have that before the end of the season.

"It's not like we're right at the bottom of the league and propping it up. We're still doing okay. It's just compared to last year and what everyone expects, we're a little below that.

"I think when everyone comes back we'll be confident. I know how hard the boys and the staff work, things will start looking a little better soon."