Patrick Bamford backs Leeds United to take advantage of QPR clash
Patrick Bamford backed Leeds United to make the most of a game in hand at Queens Park Rangers tomorrow but played down the pressure of the fixture with the club bidding to return to the Championship’s summit.
United will lead the table with 12 games to play if they take three points from their trip to Loftus Road and Bamford vowed to head to London and “get the business done” after Saturday’s 2-1 victory over Bolton Wanderers.
Leeds remained in third place on goal difference despite that result after leaders Norwich beat Bristol City and Sheffield United won away West Bromwich Albion but United have played one game fewer than both clubs and will attempt to profit from it tomorrow.
The fixture against QPR sets up a huge meeting between Leeds and West Brom at Elland Road on Friday but Bamford, who converted a penalty in the win over Bolton, warned that control of the division was likely to change hands repeatedly before the end of the season and urged United to avoid placing too much significance on their clash at Loftus Road.
“It's a big game but every game’s a big game and there's no point putting too much pressure on it,” Bamford said.
“Thirteen games left is still a lot so we’ve just got to go there, believe in ourselves and try to play the way that we can. We’ll travel down to London and try to get the business done.”
Leeds are one of four clubs who have cleared 60 points and two wins in the next five days would leave them 10 clear of West Brom, the team in fourth place.
Norwich and Sheffield United have nudged Leeds into third on goal difference in one of the tightest fights for promotion in years but Bamford said: “If we start looking at how other teams are doing and putting too much pressure on then it’ll start to affect us as a team.
"From now there are going to be twists and turns and there's always one club who comes steaming into the play-offs.
“I don't know who’ll end up being the top six or in what order but we know that the way we play and with the squad we’ve got, we’re more than capable of going up. We’ve just got to keep believing in ourselves and showing that on the pitch.”
Bamford, meanwhile, accused Bolton manager Phil Parkinson of “losing his head” during a melee which broke out in the second half on Saturday.
Parkinson was sent to the stands by referee Tony Harrington and is facing a touchline ban after becoming involved in a mass brawl sparked by Josh Magennis’ foul on Leeds’ full-back Gjanni Alioski.
Leeds and Bolton are waiting to see if the Football Association moves to charge either club with failing to control their players. Norwich and Ipswich Town were fined £25,000 and £20,000 respectively last week after a touchline fracas in their recent East Anglian derby.
Tempers flared on Saturday as Bolton’s Joe Williams attempted to drag Alioski off the ground and Mateusz Klich reacted by spraying water at Williams from a drinks bottle. Parkinson and Pontus Jansson were then involved in an angry exchange of words.
Bamford said: “To be honest I don't know what happened. One of their players was stupid and I don't know what their manager was thinking either.
“He’s supposed to be the one who’s probably calming his players down. He lost his head but sometimes it happens and tempers get raised.”