Danny Mills has claimed “embarrassing” Patrick Bamford will be targeted by opponents after he got Anwar El Ghazi sent off during Leeds United’s explosive encounter against Aston Villa.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Leeds defender insisted he could not defend the striker “even with my Leeds head on” for conduct that was “completely wrong”.
Bamford has been hit with a two-match ban and is set to miss the first leg of United’s Championship play-off semi-final after being charged with “successful deception of a match official” by the Football Association.
The striker fell to the floor clutching his face during a mass altercation at Elland Road as Leeds drew 1-1 with Aston Villa last Sunday.
Referee Stuart Attwell sent off the Villa defender Anwar El Ghazi for his apparent part in the incident but that straight red card has been rescinded after an independent panel ruled that his elbow made no contact with Bamford’s face, with the latter accused of duping Attwell by simulation.
“I think Bamford goes down from an invisible punch, shadow boxing, even with my Leeds United head on it’s embarrassing. You can’t be doing that,” Mills told Football Insider.
“If he’d (El Ghazi) have caught him, or pushed him (Bamford) in the face, you probably shouldn’t go down but I could understand it, at least there’s contact. There was no contact at all.
“He’s not tried to win a penalty. He’s tried to get somebody sent off, that’s not particularly right. It’s wrong, players will be looking out for that next time but yeah, I don’t agree with it.
“Throwing yourself to the floor, if there’s not contact at all, is completely wrong. If you make the most of a situation, it’s not great but I get that, I understand that. What he did was completely wrong.”
Bamford now serves a mandatory two-match suspension, starting with Sunday’s final league fixture at Ipswich and then the first leg of the semi-final double header.
El Ghazi is available for the play-offs as well as Villa’s final Championship match of the season this weekend.
In other Leeds United news, Marcelo Bielsa has high first-team hopes for loaned-out 22-year-old who has caught his eye.