Patrick Bamford is hopeful that Leeds United fans won’t have too much longer to wait to see him firing on all cylinders once more after returning from injury.
The striker has struggled with injuries over the last year and a groin issue picked up in August has seen him start just two games since the start of the Premier League campaign.
After scoring a hat-trick with the club’s under-21s, though, Bamford was widely expected to start against Aston Villa at Elland Road on Sunday afternoon as Leeds brought an end to their 29-day lay-off. However, Rodrigo was the man given the nod from the off with Jesse Marsch revealing his post-match press conference that Bamford had picked up a minor issue in training last week.
The England international did step off the bench in the second half as Leeds, who were reduced to 10-men following the dismissal of Luis Sinisterra. Bamford had chances, too, stinging the palms of Emiliano Martinez on one or two occasions.
The striker was asked about his fitness after the game and he admitted he needs more game time in order to get back to his best, but with games coming thick and fast between now and the World Cup break, he’ll be keen to see as much action as possible.
“I think it’s going to take a few more (minutes) to get back up to speed but it was nice to be back on the pitch,” he told Sky Sports after helping Leeds see out the goalless draw with Villa. “I just want to play football so hopefully I can put a bit of momentum together and start scoring some goals.”
With Leeds set to be without Luis Sinisterra for the Premier League clash with Crystal Palace after his red card against Aston Villa. Bamford will have the chance to step into the starting line-up on Sunday when Leeds go to Crystal Palace and attempt to pick up their first win in five Premier League games.
Jesse Marsch’s Leeds side are currently three points and five places above Palace after a goalless draw against Aston Villa at Elland Road.