Stuart Dallas on why Leeds United should not be solely reliant on Patrick Bamford in Premier League promotion push
WINGER Stuart Dallas says Leeds United have a collective responsibility to score the goals to fire the Whites to the Premier League with pressurising Patrick Bamford or Eddie Nketiah not a clever move.
Leeds will look to maintain their unbeaten start to the new Championship campaign in Saturday’s trip to Wigan Athletic with an impressive 3-1 win at Bristol City over the opening weekend followed by Saturday’s 1-1 draw at home to Nottingham Forest.
United dominated against Forest with 68 per cent of possession and 15 attempts on goal compared to six from the Tricky Trees but Leeds again paid the price for squandering chances with £7m striker Patrick Bamford enduring a frustrating afternoon in front of goal despite a strong all-round performance.
The Whites had four days earlier sold last season’s top goalscorer Kemar Roofe to Anderlecht for a fee in the region of £7m but Leeds then beat off stiff competition to bring in highly rated England under-21s striker Eddie Nketiah on a season-long loan from Arsenal on transfer deadline day.
Nketiah made his Whites debut in Tuesday night’s first round Carabao Cup clash at Salford City in which the 20-year-old forward netted the opening goal in a 3-0 victory.
Whites head coach Marcelo Bielsa has revealed that Nketiah will now drop back to the bench for Saturday’s clash at Wigan with Bamford back in the lone striker role and Dallas is keen to avoid overloading goalscoring responsibility on to individual players.
“It’s a case of not putting too much pressure on Pat,” said Dallas.
“Knowing Pat as the lad he is, he will take that upon himself but I think there’s other people in the team to score goals as well so it’s important that we don’t just rely on Pat all the time to get us these goals.
“Pat is Pat, he’s a confident lad and he could miss a few chances at the weekend but then the next game he will go and score a couple and that’s just the lad he is.”
Reflecting on the arrival of Nketiah and also the recruitment of marquee summer signing Helder Costa from Wolves, Dallas reasoned: “I think they both come with a great reputation but I think it’s important not to put too much pressure on players like that who come in.
“You can’t put all the pressure on their shoulders because it’s just not a clever thing to do is it?
“Some players maybe don’t react positively under pressure so I think it’s important that we just ease them in.
“Obviously if the manager decides for them to start that’s up to him but from what we have seen in training and certainly in the game the other night they are more than ready to come in to the group.”