LEEDS UNITED striker Patrick Bamford is confident that Whites supporters are finally seeing the best of him – after adding some aggression into his game.
Bamford’s run without a goal may have stretched to five games in Tuesday’s win over high-flying rivals West Brom, but the home faithful were quick to laud his overall contribution in leading the line in outstanding fashion.
It also provided a timely riposte to some critics who have questioned Marcelo Bielsa’s decision to keep faith with him ahead of Eddie Nketiah in recent weeks.
Bamford, a £7m arrival from Middlesbrough in the summer of 2018, said: “Maybe last year, one of the things that probably I was criticised for a little bit was not being aggressive enough and ‘can he do it up front on his own?’
“And I knew I could and I knew I had the strength and stuff, I just had to add that aggression into my game a bit and to be honest I think that this season, my performances have been a lot higher than they were last year.
I knew I had the strength and stuff, I just had to add that aggression into my game a bit and to be honest I think that this season, my performances have been a lot higher than they were last year.Leeds United’s Patrick Bamford
“I know I have probably missed a few chances still, but as long I am getting the chances, then it is nothing to worry about.”
On potentially silencing some dissenters, he added: “I am not really one to look at Twitter. But people were telling me: ‘oh you are getting slated’.
“I know that is a minority and the fans who have come to watch the games have been brilliant and they have always sung my name.
“It was a hard one last year; signing for a big amount of money and then getting injured and not playing and then there was the disappointment of not getting promoted.
“I feel like they (supporters) did not get the best of me last year.
“This year, it is my aim to show them and once you get Leeds fans on your side, it can only be good news.
“They are loyal and great fans who make a fantastic atmosphere and they will back you to the hilt.
“As long as we are putting 100 per cent effort in, win lose or draw, they will back us.”
After disappointing results against Charlton Athletic and Derby County, Leeds alleviated some anxiety prevalent among their fanbase with a psychologically important win over former leaders West Brom – managing to avoid another costly home concession en route to just their second league success of 2019-20 at Elland Road.
On a key result for Leeds, who visit arch-rivals Millwall on Saturday, Bamford acknowledged: “I think there was probably a bit of pressure in the atmosphere around the city (beforehand) and among the fans.
“It is always like they fear the worst when we are supposed to be challenging up there and then we have two dodgy results.
“There is probably a bit of worry about the fact that last year, we did not quite make it over the line with that shadow hanging over our heads.
“But everyone (new signings) has fitted in the team and it is a great group of lads.
“When the atmosphere is good around the dressing room, that is the most important thing.
“The togetherness is what takes you through the bad spells and brings you out on the other side.
“I think we have got that.”