Bielsa rejects avenge claim
Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa dismissed claims that Patrick Bamford went out against Fulham with a point to prove having been snubbed by Gareth Southgate for the latest England squad ahead of the international break at the end of the month.
Bamford scored the opening goal for Leeds as they beat Fulham 2-1 to take themselves completely out of the race to avoid relegation and press for a top-half finish.
“I don’t think he had that spirit (to prove a point to Three Lions manager Gareth Southgate), I imagine, I don’t know.” Said Bielsa.
“I think every player he plays to be picked but I don’t think he was trying to prove people wrong. The fact that he was considered has a lot of value already.
“Perhaps the time that’s left will present him with another opportunity.”
Patrick Bamford strikes again!
📺 Watch Fulham v Leeds live on Sky Sportspic.twitter.com/KLUCq8AzBI
— Sky Sports (@SkySports) March 19, 2021
Gareth Southgate opted for Aston Villa’s Ollie Watkins over Bamford who has scored comparatively fewer goals this season. He will join Harry Kane, Marcus Rashford and Dominic Calvert-Lewin as possible striking options.
Bamford himself was asked about the snub and he humbly accepted the decision, speaking of his aim to push on to earn a place when possible.
“Every player who gets called up thoroughly deserves it. I think a few who thought they might get called up didn’t and are disappointed.
“I just need to keep working and see if I can get my name in contention for the Euros. If I keep going as I am I think I’m in with a shot. If you told me at the start of the season I’d be linked with England I’d say you were bonkers.
🗣️ “The game is about scoring goals. VAR seems to be taking away more than its giving”
🗣️ “I have to keep working to put my name in contention for the Euros”
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) March 19, 2021
“If it comes, it comes. If not I’ll know I’ve done my best. It was in the back of my mind a little bit I guess. It gives you a bit of an extra fire in your belly.”
Bamford will need to continue scoring regularly to convince Southgate that he does indeed deserve a place but has so far done plenty to prove the England manager that he should be in his thinking.
This article was edited by Josh Barker.
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