Leeds United's unselfish centre-forward Patrick Bamford admits he wants individual glory too

Leeds United's Patrick Bamford says he has not given up hope of catching Aleksandar Mitrovic's goal haul this season
Leeds United's Patrick Bamford says he has not given up hope of catching Aleksandar Mitrovic's goal haul this season
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It is his unselfishness Marcelo Bielsa values highly in Patrick Bamford, but the Leeds United striker admits he keeps a quiet eye on individual glory too.

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Bamford's willingness to sacrifice himself for the team is an important quality in the way the Whites play, and helped to keep him in the team when the arguably more efficient goalscorer Eddie Nketiah was pushing for his place in October and November.

The 26-year-old is Leeds's top-scorer this season with seven goals, well behind Fulham's Aleksandar Mitrovic, who has 15, and Hull City's Jarred Bowen, who has 14.

But Bamford freely admits he pays attention to the Championship's goalscoring charts, and has not given up hope of coming out on top.

“I pay quite a bit of attention to it, every striker in the league wants to be at the top of it and while he is quite a bit ahead I still think he (Mitrovic) is catchable,” he said ahead of Tuesday's Championship visit of Hull City.

“It's something I look at without trying to get too far ahead of myself. I've got to try and concentrate on scoring in each game that comes along and come the end of the season we'll see what the charts say.”

Bamford's ability to link the play is important in a possession-based team like Leeds, and he is not afraid to resort to winding up opponents and their supporters if he thinks it will benefit his team. He certainly infuriated Huddersfield Town's supporters at the weekend with his ongoing feud with Jon Gorenc Stankovic in his side's 2-0 win.

“Whilst off the pitch I don't see myself as a nasty, horrible guy, on the pitch it's something I have to bring and I think it's something I've implemented quite well this year,” he said.

“When you go through a slight drought, there's other things I can bring to the team, whether it's roughing the opposition up or doing different things that help the team, other than score goals.”

Bamford has come out of a run of ten games without a goal with three in his last five.

It was the other contributions he was making – and the confidence shown by coach Bielsa – which helped him through.

“Every footballer goes through a patch where they're not in form or if they're a striker they haven't scored for a while but you know if you stick with it you can come out the other side,” he commented.

“If you're giving your all for the team there are other things you can help with, and I just concentrate on that.

“Every footballer's been through ups and downs. Even coming up through youth teams you get toughened skin and learn to deal with things.

“Every player's got to have self-belief. You have to to stick with it and make it this far.

“I can't thank (Bielsa) enough, he signed me and he stood by too. The belief he has given me, I can't be more thankful.”