'Tearing my hair out' - Exclusive: Whelan left fuming after early Leeds team news v Sheff Wed
Noel Whelan has been left fuming after Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa confirmed that Patrick Bamford would start the clash against Sheffield Wednesday.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, the former Leeds striker and lifelong fan of the club says that the Whites are in desperate need of goals up front and that the 26-year-old has failed to deliver in recent weeks.
Bielsa confirmed at his pre-match press conference that Bamford would play against Wednesday in Saturday’s visit to Hillsborough, having explained why he was so in favour of using the former Middlesbrough man over loanee Eddie Nketiah.
However, despite Bielsa lauding Bamford for his team-work, Whelan does not believe it is the right decision from the boss, insisting that goals are the be-all and end-all of a striker’s duty to the side.
Whelan told Football Insider: “If I was Eddie Nketiah I would be tearing my hair out. What more do you need to do? It’s not a case of coming on and: ‘Oh, I did my job as manager, put him on for 15 minutes when we’re 1-0 down and he scored so it’s the right call.’
“I don’t think it is the right call, what you’ve got is a striker that’s in incredible goal scoring form, a striker that’s in great confidence, you’ve got to play him because it just goes to show, one chance is all it took.
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“We can’t keep having four or five chances and then going 1-0 down before we bring him on. I’d rather take two goals rather than take two runs into the corner flag. I understand the whole situation regarding Patrick’s work rate and I’ll never ever question that. His goals-per-game ratio is not good enough.”
Bamford has now gone eight games without finding the back of the net, Bielsa starting the striker in all 13 of the club’s Championship games to date.
Nketiah meanwhile has netted three goals in nine substitute outings while at Elland Road, as well as goals in both of his starts in the League Cup.
In other Leeds United news, Darren Bent has been left drooling over a “magic” player at Elland Road he wants to see more of.