'Dropped on a creation front' - Patrick Bamford on Leeds United's search for 'perfect balance" against Tottenham Hotspur
PATRICK Bamford feels Leeds United are now better equipped to deal with the Premier League's toughest tests but are seeking the 'perfect balance' against Tottenham Hotspur.
Interim boss Ryan Mason's Spurs side will provide United's last fixture against a 'big six' side of the Premier League season in Saturday's lunch time kick-off at Elland Road.
Under former manager Jose Mourinho, Tottenham recorded a 3-0 victory against the Whites in January's reverse fixture in north London at a time when Leeds head coach Marcelo Bielsa was facing questions about United's record against the division's big guns.
Bamford says his side are a now different animal on that score, fresh from taking six points over four undefeated games against Chelsea, Manchester City, Liverpool and Manchester United in March and April.
Leeds conceded just twice in those four games and Bielsa's side had leaked just four goals in their last six games heading into last weekend's clash at relegation-battling Brighton which ended in a disappointing 2-0 defeat.
But a normally free-flowing Whites have also netted just seven goals in their last nine games and Bamford says his side are now looking to keep the newfound defensive solidarity whilst also rediscovering their attacking verve at the other end.
“I think that we have kind of learned how to play our way through the big games a little bit, a little bit better at least,” said Bamford, asked by LUTV how Leeds had evolved since the Spurs fixture in London.
“The Spurs game was actually a strange one because we had a couple of chances and if we get one of them at 1-0 or at 0-0 then it’s a different game, so it’s just sometimes the way football goes.
"They were ruthless and they showed their Premier League nous and it ended up being 3-0 and quite comfortable.
"But we’ve learnt with each game really as the season has gone on and I think you have seen that - not so much the Brighton game where we let ourselves down - but the ones before that certainly, we were very good.”
Asked if Leeds were maturing as a side due to the defence not conceding as many goals, Bamford pondered: "I think that we defend as a team and we attack as a team.
"The last few games we have been really good in terms of keeping opponents out and not offering too many chances.
"But I think we have also dropped on a creation front so we are not creating as many chances, especially the last four or five games.
"It's one of them where we need to get the perfect balance where we can still cut the opponent down or keep them down from creating chances but still create the normal amount that we do.
"It's a learning process."
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Thank you Laura Collins