Leeds United to make late call on substitute roles for experienced pair

Patrick Bamford has been having injections in his knee this week to try and get the striker fit for Leeds United's last shot at automatic promotion.

But Daniel James will definitely miss the game and like Bamford, Connor Roberts is only likely to be fit for a cameo from the bench at best.

The Whites need to win at home to Southampton on Saturday and hope Ipswich Town lose at home to Huddersfield Town.

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Anything else will see Leeds go into the Championship play-offs.

DECISIONS: Leeds United manager Daniel FarkeDECISIONS: Leeds United manager Daniel Farke
DECISIONS: Leeds United manager Daniel Farke

Bamford missed Friday's 4-0 defeat at Queens Park Rangers with a bruised knee and was expected back in full training early this week. Instead, he has been limited to individual work.

"We still have some hopes he's perhaps available, but I'm not sure for how many minutes," said Farke. "It will also be a late decision.

"We tried everything, even some injection therapy, we're a bit surprised we're unable to get this bruise out of his knee, it's in an area where it's difficult to treat manually. We hope the injections help, I hope he'll return to team training tomorrow (Friday). If he's capable we have a chance for him to be available on Saturday.

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“He's missed a bit much to start. There is no major injury, it's more like really unlucky. He had a sliding tackle against a post (in the win at Middlesbrough). No one can be blamed and we try everything."

Complicating matters is the fact Leeds do not know if Saturday will be their final game of the season but Farke says it will not come into his thinking.

"We never take risks of any player, health is always important and it never works if a player is not capable to train all week and you throw him into the mix suddenly and pray he delivers," he said.

"You have to earn your spot. It is not possible if you're not involved in team training. As it stands we're not thinking about what happens after the last game of the regular season. We know it's a small chance to attack the automatic promotion places. As long as there's a chance we go for it."

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Farke had been holding out a slim hope that James might feature against Southampton after a muscle tear, but he has now accepted defeat on that.

Full-back Roberts returned to play a limited part in team training on Thursday.

Farke has had much to say about the inexperience of his team being costly in the promotion run-in, adding extra weight to any gametime they can get out of Bamford or Roberts.

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