Patrick Bamford impressed for England even if he drew a blank - Sue Smith

One of the highlights of England’s win over Andorra last week was when Harry Kane scored the second goal and the camera panned to Patrick Bamford, clapping and smiling on the bench.

Bamford had been substituted after a goalless international debut which saw him wear down Andorra’s defence before Kane came on and reaped the rewards.

I know how hard it can be sat on the bench, desperately wanting to play.

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You watch someone in your position thinking, ‘Do I want them to do well?’ Part of you does because it is your country and your team, but you also want to play and the better they do, the harder that is. You have to put that thought to one side.

Patrick Bamford of England is put under pressure by Marc Vales of Andorra during the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifier match between England and Andorra at Wembley Stadium on September 5 (Picture: Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

I am still really good mates with Rachel Yankey. Sometimes one of us would play on the right and the other on the left, but often it was one playing, the other not. If I saw something from the bench Rachel could do better I would still tell her at half-time.

If I ever went into management I would make sure I got the right characters in my team. You might be the best player in the world but if you are not the right type of person, that can hinder the team.

I do not know Bamford but just from watching him for Leeds United and hearing him speak, he comes across as an intelligent, unselfish bloke.

It was so nice to see someone who looked and sounded genuinely proud to play for England. Winning his first cap on his 28th birthday was an example to other players to keep believing.Throughout the Euros, England manager Gareth Southgate was constantly praising Conor Coady, who never played a minute of the tournament but still made an important contribution.

Substituted: England's Patrick Bamford shakes hands with manager Gareth Southgate after being substituted against Andorra (Picture: PA)

Players like that are so important. I would want Jill Scott in every England women’s squad for as long as she wants to keep playing international football because she is so good at noticing when a team-mate is not quite right and taking them for a coffee or making them smile. When I roomed with her I hardly saw her because she was always off chatting to other people.

You need different characters in a team environment. We had social butterflies like Jill, but our captain, Faye White, was a real lead-by-example super-professional who would always tell us when it was time to be serious and be the go-between to the coaches. Super-talented players like Kelly Smith set examples on the pitch.

Moaners who constantly put a negative angle on everything bring the whole squad down.

Throughout my England career there were always fans asking why a certain player was not getting picked but the players all knew why. When you were at tournaments and training camps it was obvious who did not really want to be there, crying off training with a broken toenail.

England's Patrick Bamford (centre) in action with Andorra's Marc Vales (left) and Marcio Vieira (Picture: PA)

When I first got picked as a 16-year-old I went from a very relaxed environment at Tranmere Rovers where I played a free role to a very strict set-up under Ted Copeland where I was expected to stay wide. You might play a pass that worked out well but if it was not the pass he wanted you to play, he would still tell you off.

In one of my first training sessions another young player answered back. She was never picked again.

Lots of people would say to me I played differently for Tranmere to England and they were right. I loved how I played for Tranmere and felt much more limited at international level but I knew if I wanted to keep getting picked by England I had to do what my manager wanted.

It seems the current England men’s team are much freer to voice their opinions but the right characters are still important.

Patrick Bamford, right, was an unsued substitute against Poland. (Picture: Eddie Keogh - The FA/The FA via Getty Images)

When Bamford came off there was no sulking, which must have been hard because you only had to look at Andorra’s previous games to see they were going to tire and he would not be on the pitch to take advantage.

With 11 changes, Sunday 
was always going to be difficult for an attacker to have his best game.

Bamford worked hard off the ball, took players away and made runs that were not found where they would be at Leeds or three or four games down the line with England once he had the chance to gel with his team-mates.

But I think it was probably off the field where he made the biggest impression.