Danny Mills suggests that Leeds United striker Patrick Bamford was unfairly judged by fans last season as he raves over the forward’s impressive work rate.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, the former Manchester City and England defender says that the 26-year-old has shown a marked improvement in his efforts when leading the line, having come under fire from certain corners of Elland Road last season.
Bamford has started every one of Leeds’ Championship fixtures so far during the 2019/20 campaign with Arsenal loanee Eddie Nketiah breathing down his neck.
Mills says that the injury problems suffered by Bamford last season, which kept him out of action towards the end of 2018, may not have helped his cause and that he has shown a significant improvement in his work ethic.
Mills told Football Insider: “I think he’s really stepped up, he divided opinion last season. He’s a player who does have a lot of ability but he does have this languid style.
“Does he always appear that he’s putting in 100 per cent? Well, I think he’s gone out this season and proven that yes he has. He’s worked very, very hard.
“You have to remember that he did have a bad injury last season, it took him a while to come back from that. Bielsa was very, very patient so maybe it was unfair to judge him at the end of last season because he wasn’t 100 per cent fit.
“He’s had a full pre-season, he’s now got real competition for his place. He’s knuckled down, working hard and that’s all credit to him as well.”
Bamford was hooked at half-time in the 1-0 win against Birmingham City on Saturday afternoon, meaning he has now gone seven games without hitting the back of the net.
The Whites will be in action again on Tuesday night when they travel to Preston North End, before welcoming Sheffield Wednesday to Elland Road next weekend.
In other Leeds United news, Danny Mills has revealed how the current squad were treated at the centenary celebratory dinner.