'They need to realise...' - Exclusive: Whelan slams Leeds fans for misjudging Whites player
Noel Whelan delivered his backing for Patrick Bamford and hit out at the many Leeds United fans giving him a “lot of stick”.
The former Whites and Coventry forward, speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs, claimed the 26-year-old deserved his goal on Saturday and he has been misjudged by a vast section of the club’s support.
The English forward scored the second goal of the game as Marcelo Bielsa’s side beat Huddersfield Town 2-0 in the Yorkshire derby.
Luke Ayling opened the scoring at Elland Road, sending a sumptuous volley in off the bar after just three minutes.
Ben White’s header was superbly stopped by Jonas Lossl but Bamford was on hand to tap in the rebound to take the Whites one step closer to the Premier League.
When asked how significant a goal it could prove for the under-fire striker, Whelan told Football Insider: “It is what he deserves. The amount of effort he puts into every single game. I know for a number nine it is about scoring goals but he brings so much more to the side.
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“He takes a lot of stick from a lot of people and it is very divided with the fans. What they need to realise is that he has never been prolific in his career but he is Leeds United’s top scorer so he is doing something right.
“The work that he does is a massive help and a lot of people do not see that but it is very much recognised by me as a striker. It is not an easy job to do.”
The second-half strike was Bamford’s 13th in 38 appearances, making him the club’s top scorer this campaign.
United went top of the Championship with the victory as title challengers West Brom shared a stalemate with Swansea City.
In other Leeds United news, it can be REVEALED that Bielsa is set to snub fans’ favourite for the rest of the season.