Leeds United striker Patrick Bamford keeping doors open over international honours

DOOR IS OPEN: Leeds United striker Patrick Bamford says he has most definitely not turned his back on representing the Republic Of Ireland. Picture by Tony Johnson.
DOOR IS OPEN: Leeds United striker Patrick Bamford says he has most definitely not turned his back on representing the Republic Of Ireland. Picture by Tony Johnson.
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PATRICK Bamford says he has closed no doors on his international options as the Republic Of Ireland await their latest Euro 2020 qualifier against Switzerland tomorrow.

Grantham-born Leeds United striker Bamford qualifies to play for Ireland through the grandparents rule with the Whites striker having one cap for the Republic’s under-18s.

Bamford then switched allegiance to represent England at up to under-21s level but former Ireland boss Martin O’Neill revealed last Spring that he had been investigating the possibility of the striker switching again to represent the Ireland senior side.

O’Neill’s replacement Mick McCarthy then contacted Bamford about representing Ireland last season but Bamford stressed his desire to concentrate on Leeds’ promotion push after returning from two knee injuries.

McCarthy was then quoted as saying he would no longer chase the striker - that Bamford would need to pick up the phone - and the Whites forward says reports that he had ‘snubbed’ Ireland were wide of the mark.

“Some of the stuff that gets written in the press is a load of rubbish,” said Bamford, speaking at a recent Q & A session with Whites fans at Elland Road.

“I spoke to Mick and he asked me to basically change over nationality for the summer games and I said ‘look I had a bad injury last year and I want to concentrate interest of the season with Leeds.’

"I am not saying no, I am just concentrating on Leeds. I haven’t closed any doors, I have not said yes, I have not said no.”