Leeds United striker Patrick Bamford on pressure, his own expectations, the fans and Helder Costa's ability

Patrick Bamford says he embraces the pressure that comes with playing up front for a club like Leeds United and has expectations of his own he wants to meet this season.

Friday, 2nd August 2019, 8:58 am
Patrick Bamford was taken aback by the show of strength from the Leeds fans in Australia

Patrick Bamford says he embraces the pressure that comes with playing up front for a club like Leeds United and has expectations of his own he wants to meet this season.

The striker hit the net 10 times last season, in 25 outings, and wants to try and at least double that in what he hopes will be an injury-free 2019/20 campaign.

Fellow frontman Kemar Roofe is currently out injured, which leaves Bamford to carry the goalscoring responsibility for the Championship title contenders.

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“There’s always going to be that pressure, when you’re at a big club like Leeds,” he said.

“For me it’s something I embrace.

“I expect myself to score as many goals as I can.

“Last year, getting 10, for me being out six months wasn’t a bad return.

“With a cruciate injury it’s tough, it takes a while to feel normal again but since we’ve been back for pre-season my knees have felt brilliant, felt the same as each other.

“Obviously every striker wants to clear the 20, 25 mark and hopefully with a full season I’m capable of doing that. I’ve set myself personal targets and hopefully I can achieve them.”

One man who could prove a useful ally in Bamford’s quest for more goals is one of the new boys.

Helder Costa has, according to Bamford, already shown his ability on the training pitch while acclimatising to Marcelo Bielsa’s way of playing.

“It’s the same when any new player comes in, the gaffer wants them to get into his system, bed in a little bit and get used to how he wants them to play,” said the man bought from Middlesbrough for £7m.

“It was the same when I came in, it took me six weeks to get into it and then I got injured obviously.

“It’ll be the same with all of them and you can tell already, whilst he’s bedding in, he’s a top player, he’s got some serious quality and he’ll make a difference.”

Bamford took part in a Q and A event at Elland Road on Thursday night, joining team-mates Barry Douglas and Kiko Casilla on stage to give fans in attendance an insight into life in the Leeds squad.

He says his relationship with the Whites fanbase is a good one and they share a mutual fervour for the new season.

“I think the fans on the whole have been great, I can’t complain,” he said.

“I think they’re just as excited as we are.

“I’m sure they can’t wait for Sunday.”

But while a new season is a chance for a fresh start, Bamford isn’t yet ready to put last season’s bitter play-off disappointment behind him completely.

He wants to use it as fuel for the fire, in an attempt to reignite the club’s promotion hopes.

“Obviously we finished the season on a sour note because we didn’t get over the finish line but I think everyone is looking forward to the new season and it’s a clean slate,” he said.

“You’ve got to kind of forget about last season while keeping it in the back of your head.

“It’s something we can turn to, we’ve been there, we’ve got so far and we know we can do it, we’ve just got to push that extra yard to get a little bit further.”

Despite the fact that he’s about to enter his second season as a Leeds player, Bamford was still recently taken aback by the supporters’ show of strength on the other side of the world.

Around 10,000 Whites were present in Australia for the club’s tour Down Under and Bamford says it’s proof of both his club’s stature and significance in the lives of fans.

“I was surprised, I thought there would be a few Leeds fans who lived out in Australia but the fact that there were so many and so many flew out as well,” he said.

“It just showed how big the club is and how much it means to people.”