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'Bielsa believes in Bamford - and he is responding' | Brian Kerr on Leeds

Ciaran Bradley
Ciaran Bradley

18:35 31 Jan 2021


Patrick Bamford is responding to the faith placed in him by Leeds manager Marcelo Bielsa, according to Brian Kerr.

Bamford was the man of the match for Kerr after their 3-1 win away at Leicester, with two assists and a goal against a side with Champions League ambitions this season.

Bamford and belief

It has not always been the way for Bamford, who has often been barracked by his own fans for profligacy and apparent lethargy, but not so this year.

"Patrick Bamford was man of the match, with the pass for the first and third goals, and his finish for the second - which was the crucial goal in the game," Kerr said.

Bamford was around the squad of Premier League clubs, in Chelsea, Crystal Palace, and Burnley among others, but Kerr believes that Marcelo Bielsa has succeeded where others have failed.

"Why do players move clubs so frequently? It is usually because they haven't done it at one club, but there is always another club that thinks they have that special ability to get something from him.

"I think he has been one of those players that has always looked very elegant in possession and technically very skilful but has always lacked a bit of drive and physicality. A languid kind of style that would frustrate managers who value high-energy, aggressive centre-forward play.

"But now he has found a manager who believes in him and Bielsa is a very demanding manager. [Bamford] has responded to those demands with not only a high work rate [...] but he gets around in a high press that is demanded by Bielsa in most games."

Beating Leicester

Bamford is confounding expectation this campaign, with some speculating that a lack of fans is benefiting the striker.

"But his goalscoring, he got 16 in the league where they won it by ten points. He went into the Premier League and Leeds fans were wondering him - and he has ten goals going into today's game; one in two or a little bit above.

"But his performance today shows you why he is in the team and why they can't leave him out. The touch and the timing for the first goal; the timing and the weight of the pass, and he runs away from Evans... he said that he wasn't going to add to his goal tally and he felt that the most important thing was for the goal to be scored by Harrison.

"His all-round game was great today, his touch was good, wasn't in the game as much in the second half, but he was in a position to make the second goal and take the third goal."

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