Patrick Bamford buoyed by date of Leeds United's possible return to training but not the garden moles
PATRICK Bamford has his eyes fixed firmly on the prize of promotion with the Leeds United striker working towards returning to training on May 16 - whilst also contending with an influx of garden moles.
Leeds have seen their push for the Premier League halted with just nine games remaining with the EFL season currently suspended amidst the global battle against coronavirus.
The break in play comes with United sat top of the Championship and holding a seven-point cushion in the division's automatic promotion places with one fifth of the season left.
The EFL have always maintained a desire to fulfil their remaining fixtures when safe to do so though the country remains on lockdown until at least May 7 with strict social distancing measures in a bid to combat COVID-19.
But Bamford says the long term goal of promotion remains at the forefront of United's minds with the striker buoyed by the EFL's suggestion of a date for a possible return to training.
United's players have been training at home since the middle of March but EFL chairman Rick Parry wrote to every EFL club earlier this month outlining a hope that clubs might be able to return to training on May 16.
The letter stated the EFL's plan to try and complete their season within 56 days in the summer months and working on the assumption that matches would be played behind closed doors.
"The letter the EFL put out said that the earliest we would be allowed back in training was the 16th of May so for me it's head to that date," said Bamford in an interview with LUTV.
"It's a case of gearing everything up to be back in on the 16th and then obviously depending on what happens throughout the world and with the virus and stuff, it could get extended, it could change.
"But now that we have been given a date, let's head towards it and then deal with whatever happens as we get closer to the time.
"When we first went under lockdown there was a lot of uncertainty so no one really knew what was going to happen.
"Everyone was like is the league going to finish, what is going to happen, when is it going to start, is it going to start again?
"Now that we have got a date to aim for in terms of when we can go back training it's positive because the work we are doing at home is hard if you don't know what date you are working towards.
"Now we have got an actual target in mind and we can carry on with the programme that we are doing and hopefully get back playing as soon as possible."
Assessing how much his eyes were still on the prize of promotion, Bamford said: "I feel like it will become a lot more clearer and become more of a reality when we get back playing.
"Obviously you have got to keep thinking about it, keep visualising stuff and stay focused even though it seems a long way off."
Bamford, though, also admitted his patience had recently been tested by some rather unwelcome visitors in his garden at his home.
Asked by LUTV's Bryn Law if it was easier training at home given his large garden, the striker laughed: "You'd have thought so except for it is on a big incline and we've had a massive breakout of moles.
"The moles are absolutely doing my head in but I have been running around on the road anyway just because it's so uneven and more of a field out the back after you get off the lawn.
"I've been running around the roads so it's all right."
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