Marcelo Bielsa explains decision to start Patrick Bamford over Eddie Nketiah in Leeds United lone striker role
HEAD COACH Marcelo Bielsa says Patrick Bamford continues to start in the Leeds United lone striker role with the forward's running "building the situation" to create the goalscoring chances for the Whites.
Bamford has started all 13 of Leeds' Championship games so far this term with United's Arsenal loanee striker Eddie Nketiah still awaiting his first Whites league start despite scoring three goals in nine second half outings from the bench.
Bamford has now gone eight games without scoring and squandered several opportunities in Tuesday night's clash at Preston North End before being substituted for Nketiah with 13 minutes left and the Arsenal loanee then bagged the equalising goal in a 1-1 draw with three minutes to go.
But Bielsa has already confirmed that Bamford will again start come Saturday's Championship Yorkshire derby at Sheffield Wednesday with the Whites head coach keen to stress Bamford's overall contribution compared to that of natural match-winner Nketiah.
"What I say about Bamford is going to be compared with what I say about Nketiah," said Bielsa.
"So to talk about Patrick is more useful to describe Nketiah.
"Nketiah has developed at one club, Arsenal, and has to play at Leeds.
"I am not comparing the level of both. But you can see clearly the performance in one team or the other team. We don’t have the players who win the match themselves. Big teams, like Arsenal, they have a lot of players that can win one match with one play. This is natural Nketiah has developed in this school.
"And he has all the resources, skills, to resolve the needs of scoring one goal. But we need to build the chance at goal. And we cannot build the chances if we don’t have a structure within all the players to create the chances.
"You will see that every time is going to be less difficult to Eddie to be more similar to give this contribution to the team. When he in the last match went to the pitch at Preston, the match was played in the place of the pitch where he plays better, by the box. Against Birmingham he was far from the box and without offensive creation.
"And against Birmingham he didn’t have a good match, against Preston he had an impact. To finish this explanation, the most important, what he does when we have to score. Nketiah is very good at scoring. Also Bamford.
"But Bamford is missing chances and Nketiah is scoring.
"But there is a fact before you score a goal, you build the situation that allow the chance to score."
Bielsa then insisted that Nketiah had actually run more that Bamford during games thus far but said: "Bamford ran for the needs of the team. Nketiah ran just to try and score.
"The metres that Bamford ran is true to the team. And to finish, Nketiah puts these meters in to finish the action.
"It’s natural. What I’m looking for, to achieve that Eddie feels the needs of the team and that he understands if he doesn’t put the metres in both things, he is going to have less chances to score."