Patrick Bamford says 'distraught' Leeds United are 'back into reality' after unlikely Cardiff City draw
PATRICK BAMFORD said Leeds United were left "distraught" after throwing away a 3-0 lead in Saturday's 3-3 draw against Cardiff City which would bring the Whites "back into reality" about the Championship's automatic promotion race.
United looked to be cruising to a seventh consecutive league win as goals inside the first eight minutes from Helder Costa and Bamford were followed by a successful Bamford penalty kick seven minutes after the break.
Cardiff, though, gave themselves hope when Lee Tomlin lobbed home on the hour and Sean Morrison then ensured Elland Road was a bag of nerves when heading home a free-kick with eight minutes to go.
Morrrison was then sent off just four minutes later for a reckless lunge on Eddie Nketiah but the ten-men Bluebirds still equalised with just two minutes left when substitute Robert Glatzel raced away before slotting past Kiko Casilla.
The draw saw United drop from first to second and two points behind West Brom with Leeds now ten points clear of third-placed Preston North End when Bamford knows the gap should be standing at 12.
"As you can imagine the lads were distraught," said Bamford.
"It's the end of a long three-game week so it's been a tough week but we should have won that game.
"We dominated the whole game, we knew what their threat would be and it showed in the end as well as that's how they scored their goals.
"I think everyone is disappointed but it just shows that we are not the finished article yet.
"We know that we have still got a lot of work to do.
"One point is better than none but it still does leave a sour taste in your mouth."
The point still extended United's unbeaten run to 11 games but Bamford admitted the draw ultimately felt like a defeat.
"If you are three goals up you should never end up losing the three points," said Bamford.
"It's hard to think about it and they were down to ten men when it was 3-2 as well but football is a funny game.
"I'm sure it's entertaining for a neutral but for us it's disappointing."
In netting a brace, Bamford took his goalscoring tally for the season to nine but the striker admitted he fancied his chances of netting a first ever Whites treble before being substituted for Eddie Nketiah with 13 minutes left.
Nevertheless, with Leeds 3-1 up, the striker took comfort from the fact that he considered his side home and hosed for victory.
Bamford reasoned: "To be honest, going off I was a bit tired but I was a bit disappointed because obviously you want to get a hat-trick.
"I thought going off that the game was done and we had it won, you can be happy and go and enjoy watching the rest of the game and then it turns around quickly.
"It's horrible being sat on the bench, you can't do anything about it but that's just one of them things, sometimes it happens like that and I guess it's our own fault.
"It shows that we have got to learn a lot and we have got to mature as a team because it's concentration really that probably let the lead slip and we have got quite a young team."
Leeds still remain no bigger than 1-9 to finish in the top two - with West Brom 1-7 - but Bamford was keen to stress that absolutely nothing can be certain just two weeks into December.
"I don't think you can say two teams have ran away with it until come the end of the season," said Bamford.
"There's no point saying 'they are going to get promoted, they are not', just leave it until the end of the season because it is such a crazy league.
"A couple of games, a couple of weekends can see a massive turnaround and changes the places in the table so for us hopefully this will bring it a little bit back more into reality that we are not the finished the article, we are not over the finish line and we do have to keep working hard."