Two different worlds both evolving for Leeds United striker Kemar Roofe

CRAZY WEEK: For Leeds United striker Kemar Roofe.
CRAZY WEEK: For Leeds United striker Kemar Roofe.
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KEMAR ROOFE, not surprisingly, admitted his head was spinning in the aftermath of Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Nottingham Forest.

“It’s been one of the craziest weeks for me,” admitted the Leeds United striker.

“The birth of the my second child, no sleep, three games in the week and two goals.”

Crazy even as it stands, let alone with the second of those goals having been scored with his arm.

After handing United a point, Roofe then returned home for fatherhood duties, admitting the birth of his second child had left him sleeping in the spare room.

An already eventful season – on and off the pitch – and a season which the continually improving Roofe says should be his best campaign yet.

Now in his third season at Leeds following his summer switch from Oxford United in July 2016, £3m striker Roofe began the current campaign with an almighty bang with the 25-year-old taking the Championship’s player of the month award for August.

Four goals in four games and some tireless running with it helped United on their way to the top of the division but September began with frustration for Roofe who then became injured after taking a knock to his calf in training.

The knock ultimately left Roofe sidelined for nearly six weeks – threatening to derail momentum of a stellar start to the season for the man who dons the no 7 shirt but has, in effect, become Leeds United’s main no 9.

After a frustrating return to action in the 2-1 loss at Blackburn Rovers, Roofe restored order to his season by netting a fine headed opening goal in last Wednesday’s 2-0 win at home to Ipswich Town.

The forward’s daughter was then born the following day with Roofe’s eventful week then completed two days later when netting a highly controversial equaliser by bundling the ball home with his arm to give his men a 1-1 draw against Forest.

An eventful week to an already eventful season and one which Roofe is hopeful of being his best one yet.

“Every year my plan is to get better,” Roofe told the YEP.

“Next year I want to be better than this year – that’s just the way I am and if I am not better than last year I am doing something wrong now.

“Being injured is part of the game. Obviously I wish I wasn’t injured and it was five weeks or so where it was difficult.

“But it allowed me to get stronger in the gym, on the field and even stronger in the head as well – watching games, learning and I’m back now.

“Last week was one of the craziest weeks for me, the birth of my second child, no sleep, three games in the week and two goals. I was sleeping in the spare room but it’s all good. I got enough sleep in and prepared right.

“And, to be honest, I keep what’s happening on the pitch and off the pitch separate. It’s two different worlds.

“As long as I just get my preparation right and focus on the game that’s what counts.

“It’s good. I have got something to look forward to – obviously playing my games and then I have got something to look forward to going back home and dealing with her.”

United’s striker was still undecided on a name for his second child in the aftermath of Saturday’s draw with Forest as the striker himself earned a few handball-themed nicknames from fans.

The Walsall-born forward was honest in his assessment of his controversial equaliser – admitting he had scored unintentionally with his arm but arguing that it was up to the match officials to rule it out.

Whilst losing top spot to new leaders Sheffield United, the point kept United in the automatic promotion places and Roofe admits there is the potential for Leeds to be even better by improving their efficiency in front of goal.

Only three of 18 shots at goal hit the target against Forest with Leeds failing to bag the rewards of another game in which they dominated possession with 71 per cent.

Roofe reasoned: “That’s what we have been training since pre-season anyway, efficiency.

“The perfect world is to score every chance but how realistic is that?

“Sometimes you need to say the opposition that you are playing against are defending well. They are putting bodies behind the ball, in front of the goal.

“Of course we would like to score more goals but it is what it is. But at the end of the day, possession doesn’t win you games.

“It’s the goals that win you the games so hopefully we just keep creating more chances and take them and see the games out.”

But Roofe has generally taken his chances when they have come knocking with the striker already on six goals for the season in a bid to better last season’s tally of 14 which was a big improvement on the first season’s return at Leeds of three.

The marksman is fulfilling his aim of continually getting better each year but insists it is Leeds United’s progress as a whole that matters most with the striker hopeful that his third season at the club can mean third time lucky in terms of promotion to the Premier.

“Of course that’s the aim,” admitted Roofe. “We say it every year and we try and do it every year and hopefully we go one better this year and achieve it.

"I am doing all right but it’s not about me. It’s about getting the three points for the team and unfortunately we didn’t do that on Saturday but a point is still good.

"Everyone has been dropping points, some people are surprising teams with getting points and climbing up the table and of course we are disappointed because we have dropped a few ourselves.

“But we are still up there so we must be doing something right. This league is a tough one. Everyone keeps saying it – that it keeps getting tougher every year and it’s probably true as well.

“I think that’s why everyone enjoys this league, you can’t predict any game, you have to work really hard just for a point which we showed [against Forest] but hopefully we do get promoted.”