By Noel Whelan

2nd Oct, 2021 | 12:00pm

Whelan 'expects' shake-up from Bielsa for Leeds v Watford after Bamford update

Noel Whelan has backed Marcelo Bielsa to “adapt” his Leeds United game plan against Watford with Patrick Bamford ruled out through injury.

The former Leeds striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, insisted his old side need to get players running beyond Rodrigo Moreno.

As quoted by The Athletic’s Phil Hay, Bielsa confirmed Bamford would be missing for a further few weeks with an ankle injury.

He missed Saturday’s loss against West Ham, with Rodrigo starting as the lone centre-forward in his absence.

The ex-Valencia forward dropped into midfield frequently to link play between defence and attack.

As such, Whelan claimed Bielsa will adapt the system to fill the void left by the talismanic Bamford with “talented” Rodrigo playing a huge part.

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He believes the Spaniard will be “desperate” to notch his first goal of the season.

“He’s a different kind of player to Patrick (Bamford). He’s not going to stretch the game by running in behind,” Whelan told Football Insider‘s Ewan Kingsbury.

“A lot of it is him coming in short, so we will need players running beyond him on the wings and players coming inside and linking up with him.

“He showed some real quality bits of play against West Ham, but if you’re playing as a number nine you need goals – and he is desperate for that.

“Sometimes you just need to bide your time and put in good performances, but we know that he’s got the talent – he makes the game look so easy.

“What we don’t have is a like-for-like replacement for Patrick, and that means I expect we will have to adapt how we set up with Rodrigo up there.”

Rodrigo has made 35 appearances for Leeds, notching seven goals.

He is goalless in seven games this term.

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