Leeds United youngster scoops Man of the Match award as promising loan spell continues
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The Leeds loanee has established himself as a reliable operator in the heart of midfield under Karl Robinson at the Kassam Stadium, and further demonstrated his abilities with a fine display against the Addicks.
Oxford have rarely threatened the play-offs this season, nor are they under pressure from relegation but did secure a win over Carabao Cup quarter-finalists Charlton in midweek. Bate started the game as part of a midfield trio and provided the genesis for Oxford’s opener, cushioning the ball down with his back to goal before finding a pass and launching an attack.
Bate won two tackles, created one chance and completed 79 per cent of his passes as he saw out the 90 minutes alongside Cameron Brannagan and Marcus McGuane in midfield.
The ex-Chelsea youngster has registered a handful of assists during his loan stint in Oxfordshire and spoke recently with the YEP about how he was finding his first taste of regular senior football.
"It’s [physicality] something that I've had to work on a lot because the second balls, like you saw today, are a big part of the game,” he said.
"I try and play my game still, when the ball comes to me I still try not to go long, just try and keep calm because the end of the day that’s the type of player I am, I’m not going to change. Obviously, I know I'm never going to win headers, it's never going to be my game, but as long as I can compete, then that's good enough.”
The 20-year-old is on a season-long loan at Oxford but is keen to return to Elland Road and make a name for himself in the first-team setup.
"I moved to Leeds last summer for a reason. And I'd say I fell in love with the club.
"This season was always about getting minutes and getting a feel for first-team football, and then that is the plan to go back to Leeds. But if that doesn't happen straightaway, then we'll see. Again, it won't set me back. But my ultimate goal is to play for Leeds in the Premier League."