Patrick Bamford had a very mixed first season at Leeds United, but is determined to win the supporters over.
In comments reported by BBC Sport, Patrick Bamford has admitted that he regrets his actions during Leeds’ draw with Aston Villa that led to a retrospective suspension, while he also opened up on his determination to win the Elland Road faithful over.
Bamford endured a tough first season with the Whites. He arrived for big money last summer, and spent much of the early part of the campaign out due to injury. He went on to score nine goals in 23 Championship games, but never quite managed to win all of the supporters over.
The regular season ended in disappointing fashion for the 25-year-old as he was banned for the final day and the first-leg of the play-off semi-final after being retrospectively banned for two games for feigning injury during a clash which resulted in Anwar El Ghazi being sent off.
And ahead of his second season, Bamford conceded that he is disappointed with his actions, and fears that it could prove to be a problem for him moving forward.
“Looking back, I regret it. I maintain he touched me but I milked it and made a stupid deal of it,” he told BBC Sport. “I wouldn’t do it again and it’s something I have to learn from.”
Despite boasting a decent strike-rate, Bamford also suggested that he feels that he has plenty to prove having faced criticism from some of the supporters.
“I took a bit of stick last year from the fans,” he added. “There will always be people who like you or aren’t such fans (of you), and for me it’s an opportunity to prove them wrong and get them on my side.
“If we’d gone up last year I’d have said it had been a great season, missing six months and getting 10 goals I’d have been chuffed. But because we didn’t go up, it was a nightmare season.”
Bamford faced criticism from a small section of the fans when Leeds kicked off their pre-season with a win against York City, but a significantly greater number of supporters then jumped to his defence on social media.
It could be the kind of situation that certainly works in the striker’s favour as it seems more than likely that some of those who were previously undecided or somewhat unconvinced about the former Middlesbrough man will be much happier to back him after the criticism he has faced.
But of course, there will be no better way for Bamford to win his critics over than to score the goals that put Leeds right in the promotion race once again next season.