Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink has berated the performance of Patrick Bamford in yesterday’s 3-0 win over Fulham in the Championship.
The forward was on the receiving end of some stern criticism from fans last weekend. In the defeat to Cardiff, Bamford stood out as a particular weak link in the side, but he silenced many of those critics with a goal yesterday.
Many except Hasselbaink, that is. The ex-Leeds United and Chelsea striker told Leeds Live how Bamford ‘didn’t play well at all’ even despite his 14th Championship goal of the season.
“He didn’t play well, he didn’t play his normal self,” said the Dutchman. “It’s a great goal but normally he’s good holding the ball up and it doesn’t bounce off him.
“After the goal, you’d think he would have grown into the game. He didn’t do the things well that he normally does and I think that’s why the manager has taken him off but still it’s a big decision.”
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Bamford was taken off with Helder Costa during the second-half yesterday – another name who Leeds fans weren’t all that impressed with – and the pair were replaced by Pablo Hernandez and Ezgjan Alioski.
The substitutes changed the course of the game. Alioski would put Leeds two goals ahead ten minutes after coming on and Jack Harrison would later add a third.
Hernandez though was the main attraction yesterday, making a huge impact from the bench after missing the defeat to Cardiff.
“This manager wants certain things in a certain way, he had to bring in Hernandez, he had to get a foothold into the game and they did that,” explained Hasselbaink. “Hernandez was the difference with everything and he makes them play, he ticks all the boxes.”
Although there were spells yesterday where Fulham were the better team, the scoreline is the only thing that matters. Leeds are now three points clear at the top of the Championship, and looking good for a spot in the top-two.
Bamford has been receiving criticism throughout. He has a hard task in playing as Leeds’ sole striker and took his goal well yesterday, but until he’s scoring more regularly and bettering those around him, that criticism will follow him around.