Jesse Marsch set for Patrick Bamford meeting ahead of Brentford as Leeds United defender has op

Patrick Bamford could make a return for Leeds United in their relegation-deciding Premier League finale at Brentford on Sunday.

By Graham Smyth
Friday, 20th May 2022, 1:25 pm

Head coach Jesse Marsch says the centre forward has been back in training this week and although a decision on his involvement has not yet been taken, the American is optimistic.

"Patrick Bamford has looked really good this week, we haven't made a final decision on where he'll stand for the moment on Sunday," he said.

"He had a day off today inside to recuperate effectively but we're hopeful we can make the decision to make him available for Sunday.

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"Robin [Koch] trained today, I think he'll be available from the start. Everyone else who was available last weekend will be."

Marsch says Leeds will make the decision on Bamford's availability tomorrow but as it stands he doesn't believe they would be putting the 28-year-old at risk.

"[The consideration is] more than anything that we're not risking him at any level. At the moment? I don't believe we would be," he said.

"And then we just have one more meeting tomorrow with Patrick to go through what it's looked like, what the loads have been, how he feels and then do a final assessment. Is he available? How many minutes? What's the best strategy? And then we have to be ready to let him go."

SORE POINT - Leeds United's Patrick Bamford last started at Wolves in March, only to suffer a further injury in the foot that had kept him out of action for weeks. Pic: Bruce Rollinson

Bamford has endured as torrid a campaign on a personal level as Leeds United have at club level. The striker went into the season hoping to fire his way into Gareth Southgate's plans and made no secret of his World Cup 2022 dream.

But an ankle problem he sustained in the fifth Premier League outing at Newcastle United, one he suffered through for the final stages of that 1-1 draw, resulted in a lengthy layoff, before further complications and injuries ruined his season completely. He damaged his hamstring celebrating a goal on his December return, at home to Brentford, then picked up a quad issue in training and a further foot problem.

It wasn't until after Marcelo Bielsa's departure and Jesse Marsch's arrival that Bamford saw Premier League action again, featuring as a substitute against both Aston Villa and Norwich City before getting a first start against Wolves in March. It was obvious even during the warm-up, as Bamford summoned a physio and changed the insoles on his boots, that he wasn't comfortable however. And with just 23 minutes played he limped off in agony, bursting into tears on the bench.

The striker has played no part for the Whites in the seven games since the trip to Molineux. Another of Marsch's forwards, Tyler Roberts, has returned to training but while he's ahead of schedule having had surgery on his hamstring, he's not in contention for Sunday.

Marsch also revealed in today's press conference that defender Luke Ayling, whose three-game suspension took him out of the equation for Brentford, has gone under the knife for a knee problem.

"Luke Ayling had successful surgery yesterday," said Marsch.

"Based on how it went we're hopeful it's not too long, somewhere between two and four months. It was on a knee injury, we decided to take this time to get him healthy."