Leeds United boss Marcelo Bielsa on what he values about Patrick Bamford
Marcelo Bielsa wants more goals from Patrick Bamford, but values just how often the striker is in the right place to be in with a chance of hitting the net.
Leeds United’s number nine came off the field to a standing ovation at Elland Road on Saturday, despite not getting on the scoresheet in the 1-0 win over Bristol City, during which he had a goal disallowed for offside and later spurned a golden opportunity.
Whites fans recognised the work Bamford did for the team, including his link-up play and providing Leeds with an outlet, as he walked off to be replaced by January transfer window arrival Jean-Kevin Augustin.
After the win, which closed the gap between United and Championship leaders West Brom to four points and increased their lead over third-placed Fulham to three points, Bielsa said he wants Bamford to enjoy the rewards his work deserves.
“He is a centre forward in contact close to scoring but he didn’t achieve to score,” said the head coach.
“Bamford is the player in the Championship who has shot more times in the competition.
“Of course I would like him to have more efficiency, but I value a lot that in every match he is in good condition to score.
“We hope that he gets what he deserves.”
Bielsa sees Bamford’s role as pivotal to Leeds United’s system, which requires the centre forward to be fit and mobile enough to lead the pressing of opposition defences, as well as being the focal point of the attack.
“He is a player who strengthens the team,” said Bielsa. “He allows us to play with our style and after he has a special role in the team that is what I mentioned before.
“But the organisation of the team is closely linked with his contribution.”
Bamford has 12 goals this season but has netted in only one of his last 10 outings.