This article is part of Football FanCast’s Pundit View series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent quotes from journalists, pundits, players and managers…
Speaking to Football Insider, Danny Mills has delivered his verdict on Patrick Bamford, hailing the player’s work rate despite a lack of goals.
Bamford has had an incredibly indifferent season and is currently on a run of five games without a goal.
It’s the polar opposite of his first five matches this term where he netted four times during an impressive start to the campaign.
His ability to find the back of the net has since dropped off and as a result, Leeds are one of the worst in terms of converting their chances in the division.
They have 17.8 shots per game but only rank ninth-highest for goals scored in the Championship.
Despite that, Mills has hailed Bamford’s efforts during 2019/20 so far. He told Football Insider:
“His goal record is still decent. The signing of Eddie Nketiah, Kemar Roofe leaving, maybe he’s finally seen this as the penny has dropped and he’s gone: ‘Okay, this is my chance, this is my opportunity.’
“He divided opinion very much so last season and that’s mainly down to the languid style he has but I think all fans, managers, coaches appreciate hard work and effort.
“We know he’s got quality, but he’s adding that effort to his game on a consistent level.”
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It’s no secret that Bamford divides opinion and that has again been the case this season. It feels as though that when Leeds lose he’s slated but they win he’s praised.
Being given the duties of becoming Leeds’ leading light upfront after Kemar Roofe left was likely to bring its own pressures but at times he has coped particularly well.
Despite missing a big chance against Derby he won the penalty and held up the play well.
That was against the case last Tuesday night.
Calls have been made for Nketiah to start in the last few weeks but Bamford offers something the Arsenal loanee doesn’t, the ability to hold the ball up on a regular basis.
Nketiah has so far played second fiddle and been made to be an impact sub but that may continue for a while longer.
Four goals in ten matches is still a decent return but a goal this weekend will do his confidence the world of good. Marcelo Bielsa has so far displayed excellent faith in him.