Patrick Bamford 'buzzing' about Leeds United return as no 9 makes Rodrigo declaration and Joe Gelhardt prediction
Patrick Bamford says he is buzzing about the prospect of lining up alongside Leeds United's Spanish international forward Rodrigo after the record signing's latest display.
Whites no 9 Bamford is continuing to recover from an ankle injury and missed his fourth Premier League game in succession as Marcelo Bielsa's Whites took on Wolves at Elland Road last weekend.
One week after a hugely disappointing 1-0 loss at Southampton, fourth-bottom Leeds were on course to suffer a second consecutive defeat after Hwang Hee-Chan's strike in the tenth minute put the Molineux outfit 1-0 in front.
Leeds, though, gradually began to create decent chances in front of a noisy home crowd, record signing Rodrigo and 19-year-old striker Joe Gelhardt particularly excelling as United fought back to bag a 1-1 draw.
Gelhardt was brought off the bench for his Elland Road debut in the 62nd minute and combined to particularly great effect with Rodrigo, the teenager capping a fine display when storming into the box before being knocked down by Nelson Semedo for a stoppage-time penalty.
Rodrigo held his nerve to convert, sending United's home faithful wild and also whetting the appetite of Bamford for when the striker returns.
"For me watching on, it was one of them games where I am frustrated thinking I wish I was playing in this," said Bamford, speaking on the Official Leeds United podcast.
"But I did feel like it was kind of chalk and cheese from the week before.
"I have got to say that I felt from watching it that Rodrigo was brilliant which was nice to see.
"I felt like he showed what he can do which was important and looking at it from the selfish side of me, I am buzzing.
"If he is playing like that and he is behind me then that's brilliant because he was good and I felt like he helped turned it.
"It was a toss up between him and the fans in the last half an hour that helped change that game.
"All of a sudden, as soon as the flags started going that just kicked it off and it was so loud then.
"I knew that we were going to at least get a point.
"And then Joffy, he is like a little Wayne Rooney.
"He is good, he’s very good and he showed there what he can do.
"He’s built like a 26-year-old but then obviously look at him in the face, he’s got a little baby face, but he’s going to be good and he's so unassuming as well.
"The only thing is, I did text him after and said obviously, ‘well done, really well done,’ and then I said, ‘you should have bloody scored two though."
United finished with two Academy stars on the pitch as 19-year-old Dutch winger Crysencio Summerville also replaced the injured Raphinha five minutes after the break.
Both Summerville and Gelhardt immediately looked to take the game to Wolves with their tricky runs.
Bamford reasoned: "When you put a young player in, it can either go one of two ways.
"They either go into their shell and they’re scared to do what they do or they just go in and they’re not worried about the outside pressure because they haven't experienced anything like it.
"And I thought Cree did well as well, Summerville.
"Every time he has come on, a few days after the game we have been saying 'do what you do in training, get at your players, dribble at them, it doesn't matter if you lose the ball.'
"And you saw him doing it a bit more which was nice to see so I think he was getting confidence from it as well."
Summerville and Gelhardt were then able to enjoy a moment to savour as Rodrigo netted his 94th-minute penalty which sent the United home faithful wild and sparked mad celebrations at Elland Road.
Whites head coach Marcelo Bielsa kept his composure on the touchline and Bamford is not sure how.
Asked how he and the fellow absent players reacted to the late equaliser, Bamford laughed: "Nuts. It's hard and I don't know how he (Bielsa) does it.
"If I was a manager and that happened, even if it was to draw 1-1, I think I would do a Mourinho and be off down the touchline, especially after knowing we deserved it so much and wondering whether it would come."
Speaking last week at his pre-Wolves press conference, Bielsa said that both Bamford and Luke Ayling who is also injured would not be back for United's next two games.
Leeds followed Saturday's draw against Wolves with a 2-0 defeat at Arsenal on Tuesday in the fourth round of the Carabao Cup.
Bielsa will be holding his latest press conference ahead of Sunday's clash at Norwich City at 9am on Friday morning when he will provide the latest team news.
A message from the Editor:
Leeds has a fantastic story to tell - and the Yorkshire Evening Post has been rooted firmly at the heart of telling the stories of our city since 1890.
We believe in ourselves and hope you believe in us too. We need your support to help ensure we can continue to be at the heart of life in Leeds.
Subscribe to our website and enjoy unlimited access to local news and information online and on our app.
With a digital subscription, you can read more than 5 articles, see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times, and get access to exclusive newsletters and content.
Click here to subscribe.
For more details on our newspaper subscription offers click here.
Thank you Laura Collins