Patrick Bamford provides Premier League rallying call as Leeds United look to push on

Patrick Bamford wants Leeds United to fight back against the Premier League big boys.

By Joe Urquhart
Wednesday, 5th January 2022, 9:24 am

The Whites have been buoyed and given renewed confidence from victory over Burnley last weekend, hauling themselves eight points clear of the top-flight drop zone.

Marcelo Bielsa’s squad overcame a tricky December against the Clarets, having fallen to defeat against Chelsea, Manchester City and Arsenal - conceding 14 goals in the process.

Leeds have failed to taste a win against any of the top seven clubs eyeing up European qualification so far in 2021-22.

Sign up to our Leeds United newsletter

Injuries have ravaged the Elland Road outfit in recent months aiding, in part, a dip in form, though United have now put a little daylight between themselves and the lingering mid-season relegation worries.

Bamford - who has been limited to just six league appearances himself owing to time on the sidelines - is hopeful that 2022 will bring a fresh start for Leeds, with sights set firmly on taking a few scalps in the second half of the campaign.

United face an FA Cup third-round tie against the Hammers on Sunday in front of the television cameras in the capital before attention turns swiftly back to the bread and butter of league football.

A second visit to the London stadium in seven days follows and the Whites No 9 is aiming for an upturn in results. Bielsa’s team have beaten each of the four teams below them in the standings, which is a good base to build from.

Leeds United's Patrick Bamford salutes the club's supporters. Pic: Getty

“There’s no time to rest,” Bamford told The Yorkshire Evening Post of the sheer quality in the Premier League.

“You have seen when we played [Manchester] City. It was a freak game but, if you’re not at it against the top, top teams, then you do get punished and that is something you have to be mindful of.

“In the new year we have to pull our socks up and give it back to them. The big teams have obviously spent a large amount of money. Arguably you have three of the managers up there who are in the top five coaches in the whole world.

“It is [the Premier League] attracting the top players, like [Cristiano] Ronaldo coming back [to Manchester United] - but it is also bringing the top managers as well which is adding to it.

“It does make it a little bit harder when you come up against the big teams but it’s the league you want to play in. They’re the teams and players you want to play against and test yourself against.

“It’s been enjoyable for us but you know you have to be switched on and challenging yourself each game.”

Bamford will be hopeful of featuring against West Ham on Sunday (2pm). Last season’s top goalscorer was “touch and go” for the Burnley win though missed out over a lack of match fitness.

He made an instant impact upon his return from an ankle issue last month to score an injury-time equaliser against Brentford but was left battling a separate hamstring problem in the aftermath.

Bielsa confirmed he had recovered though Bamford wasn’t risked as he looks to stay fit longer term.