LEEDS UNITED striker Patrick Bamford has a timely message for the club’s promotion rivals as the race for the Premier League enters the final straight: “There is more to come from me.”
The £7m summer signing from Middlesbrough took his tally of goals from an injury-affected season to nine with a second-half double in Tuesday night’s 2-0 win at Preston North End.
His goals were enough to propel Leeds back into the automatic promotion places ahead of Sheffield United’s trip to Birmingham City last night.
Finding the net for the first time in a month also meant Bamford delivered just hours after a pep talk from his dad.
The United striker said: “Before the game, I was on the ‘phone to my dad and he said, ‘Do you know what, you haven’t had a game for Leeds yet where you can say that was your best game’.
“Part of me was thinking, ‘Yeah dad, I have been injured for a fair chunk, come on’. But he was also right because, to be honest, I don’t think the Leeds fans have seen the best of me.
“Even against Preston, obviously I felt I played well but there is more to come.”
Bamford’s knee injury meant he played just 29 minutes in five months before returning to the side in February.
Since then, the 25-year-old has netted seven times in 12 appearances but this has not prevented criticism coming his way.
A penalty miss against Millwall late last month and then the spurning of three good chances in the 1-0 defeat at Birmingham City had led to calls from some supporters to bring in top scorer Kemar Roofe, fit again after his own injury troubles.
Before the game, I was on the ‘phone to my dad and he said, ‘Do you know what, you haven’t had a game for Leeds yet where you can say that was your best game’Patrick Bamford
Bamford added: “When we were warming up (on Tuesday) and I scored in the warm-up, a couple of fans – I don’t know how many it was – were jeering sarcastically. I thought, ‘Jesus Christ, really?’ But it was nice to get that one of the way and I know now that I have had that little dry patch of four games or whatever it was.
“Hopefully, I can now carry on and start a little run.”
Asked about his return of nine goals from 20 appearances, seven of which have been from the bench, Bamford added: “The physio told me when I came back that it would take maybe three or four months of being back playing for my knee to fully do what it should – and to feel normal, because obviously my body has got to adjust to the new make up of the knee if you like.
“So, I think anything in double figures is a good return personally.”