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Patrick Bamford’s work rate key to promotion – ex-Leeds striker Bobby Davison

Patrick Bamford
(Image credit: Mike Egerton)

Former Leeds striker Bobby Davison believes Marcelo Bielsa’s side would not have won promotion to the Premier League without Patrick Bamford.

Bamford scored 16 league goals in 45 appearances this season but was heavily criticised by some fans for not converting more chances.

Davison, who helped Leeds seal their last promotion to the top flight under Howard Wilkinson in 1990, says Bamford has been indispensable.

“I’m a big fan of Bamford’s because of what he does for the team and I don’t think they would have got promotion if it wasn’t for the work rate that he put in up top,” Davison told the PA news agency.

“As a team player, in terms of his work rate, he’s been fantastic, but his Achilles heel is he probably needs five or six chances to get one goal.”

Davison still has strong ties with the club due to his role at Elland Road in matchday hospitality and has watched Bielsa’s side closely.

“The top, top strikers – and it was Ian Rush, Ian Wright and Gary Lineker in my day – one chance, bang, goal,” he said.

“But having said that, Bamford’s playing as a lone striker which is always difficult. Somebody needs to get alongside him.

“In the last few games Tyler (Roberts) has done that, but they haven’t managed it as often as they should do.”

Davison scored 31 goals in 91 league appearances during nearly five years at Leeds and feels there is one striking similarity between Wilkinson and Bielsa.

“With Bielsa it’s a case of ‘you do it my way or you’re out of the door’, and Howard was very similar,” Davison said.

“Howard’s way was ‘if you don’t like it, go and find another club’. No disrespect to the other managers, but players got away with a few things. Under Howard, nobody got away with anything.

“There were players in the dressing room who wouldn’t allow it as well and it’s exactly the same under Bielsa.”

Davison, who studied with Sean Dyche for his UEFA pro licence, has had spells as youth team coach at Leeds, Bradford, Sheffield United, Southampton and also with England under-19s alongside Noel Blake.

The former Derby and Leicester forward guided Ferencvaros to promotion to the Hungarian top flight during a spell as manager and is keen to land a new role in coaching.

He will also be keeping a keen eye on how Bielsa’s side cope with the step up to the Premier League.

“They obviously need to strengthen, but Bielsa will have a fantastic idea of what’s needed,” Davison added.

“Fans will think some of the current players will be alright and others might struggle, but I think there will be one or two who are going to surprise us.”