Patrick Bamford explains why Leeds United won't take Crawley Town lightly under Marcelo Bielsa

The Whites travel to face Crawley Town in the FA Cup on Sunday.

By Joe Urquhart
Saturday, 9th January 2021, 4:19 pm

Patrick Bamford believes Leeds United won't take this weekend's FA Cup clash with Crawley Town lightly due to Marcelo Bielsa's standards.

The Whites travel to face League Two opposition in the third round of English football's historic competition on Sunday lunchtime (13:30).

Bielsa is expected to make a number of changes to his line-up against the Red Devils but still has a strong side in mind for the clash in West Sussex.

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Leeds United striker Patrick Bamford. Pic: Getty

Leeds have been impressive in Premier League action so far this term, taking 23 points from their opening 17 games as the season reaches the halfway stage.

Crawley themselves are unbeaten in their last eight league outings, winning four in the process to sit in the play-off spots of the fourth division.

The teams will be separated by 37 places in the football pyramid ahead of kick-off but will face each other on a level playing field at Broadfield stadium.

United are no strangers to suffering in the FA Cup at the hands of lower league opposition. Bamford, though, says that with Bielsa at the helm there is little chance of Leeds letting their high standards slip.

"There is probably a tendency that when you're playing a team from League Two that you might get a little bit complacent," told the official Leeds United podcast.

"That's where Marcelo is brilliant. It doesn't matter what team he puts out and it doesn't matter who you're playing against. He'll expect exactly the same output and the same performance physically.

"At half-time if you're not up to it he'd treat it the same way as if you were playing Tottenham [United's last opponents].

"He kind of makes sure in your mindset that it is just another game. You're not going to take it easy, you want to win."

Asked about United's recent form following two wins on the bounce before defeat at Spurs last time out, he said: "I think if you'd have said six points out of nine, everyone would've taken it.

"The fact we won the first two, going into Spurs we thought we could get something from the game. It was just one of them where they were ruthless with their chances and we, ultimately, weren't.

"They're a good team. The fact that we were downhearted at losing to Spurs shows how far we have come."