Leeds handed 'massive' Bamford boost after significant update - Whelan
Noel Whelan has insisted Leeds United have been handed a “massive” boost with Patrick Bamford in contention to play against West Ham on Sunday.
The former Leeds striker and club ambassador, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, has admitted the FA Cup tie is the perfect chance for the 28-year-old to build up his fitness ahead of the Premier League run in.
As confirmed by Marcelo Bielsa on Friday (7 January), Bamford is in line to return against the Hammers on Sunday.
The striker has missed Leeds’ last four games with a hamstring injury.
Whelan insisted the Whites need to get Bamford back up to speed.
He admitted Sunday’s cup clash has come at the ideal time for the hitman.
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Whelan told Football Insider’s Russell Edge: “This was my thinking last week against Burnley, the fact he wasn’t even on the bench.
“It gives you this opportunity to play in the FA Cup. Go out there at the London Stadium and play against a very good West Ham side. This is where you’re going to get your minutes and your fitness.
“This is where he can be introduced again into the Leeds United side. To try and find his fitness and his way onto that score sheet once again.
“It’s leading up into the Premier League game away at West Ham for back to back games. Sometimes you don’t want to give too much away.
“But it’s nice to get that one up on the team that you’re going to be playing again next week. You get that kind of confidence boost and those kinds of bragging rights before you play that game.
“We’ve got to be sensible about this. Patrick’s been out, he’s a massive player for us, we know that we’ve missed him.
“It’s an opportunity to get him back out there again before, in my opinion, the more important game.”
Bamford has played just six times in the Premier League this season due to injury.
He featured just once after coming back from an ankle injury before picking up his latest injury.