Patrick Bamford has played down his celebration in Leeds United’s win over Millwall in January, where he appeared to cup his ears towards the Elland Road crowd.
Leeds fans’ relationship with Bamford is one built on opinion; the striker could score so many more goals but, undeniably, he’s worked his socks off this season and a lot of fans back him for that.
Yet, at the turn of the year, as Leeds’ form dropped off, Bamford became a scapegoat once more. A missed penalty a Queens Park Rangers infuriated the fans, but Marcelo Bielsa retained faith.
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Then, on January 28th, Bamford was on hand to score two vital goals as Bielsa’s side battled from 2-0 down against Millwall to win 3-2; on the back of his headed winner, Bamford stood with his hands towards his ear.
Recently, Bamford has opened up on that moment and what urged him to do that.
He told Leeds’ media streams: “The fans are brilliant with me. In fact I’d say 95% of fans around the world are brilliant. But there was one time on Twitter, so it probably wasn’t even the fans who were going to the game, they started giving me a load of stick, saying ‘What a waste’, ‘Shouldn’t be playing for Leeds’, ‘Hope you…’, I think some people even…, basically it was just horrible things.
“So I just thought, you know what, I’m going to get on with my job, and do what I do. The celebration, some fans thought I was cupping my ears to them, but in general, to the fans in the stadium it wasn’t anything to do with them. It was just more like, anyone can say what they want, I’m just going to keep doing what I’m doing, just keep talking, I can’t hear you. That kind of thing.”
So far this season, Bamford has missed just one Championship fixture for Leeds and has returned 13 goals, making him the club’s top goalscorer.
There’s always a little bit of niggle with Leeds fans and whoever is leading the line. It is a pressure of being the club’s No.9.
Bamford embraces the challenge well and he is well within his rights to give that little bit back.
Ultimately, the relationship between the club’s supporters and the striker has grown this year.
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