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Bielsa’s honest Patrick Bamford admission despite Leeds striker’s stellar season

Marcelo Bielsa says it is his fault Patrick Bamford has yet to hit his peak for Leeds.

Bamford has scored 14 goals and is a key factor behind Leeds’ successful return to the top flight after a 16-year absence.

Yet Bielsa says the Leeds striker has the ability to be a “very important player” and feels responsible he has not been able to help him realise his full potential.

“Bamford has qualities like the best strikers in the Premier League, but these qualities are just a starting point,” said the Leeds boss.

“You must put in place the capacity to be able to show your qualities and a collective play from the team that allows the qualities of this player to shine.

“What I have clear in my mind is Bamford has all the resources to be a very important player and that he has not managed to achieve it.

Patrick Bamford of Leeds United

“Why hasn’t he achieved it? I feel more responsible than him that he has not reached it.”

Bielsa claims he is to blame because Leeds are not creating enough dangerous situations in games.

He says he needs to tweak Leeds’ play to help Bamford more in the lone striking role.

“Where Bamford is going to reach, I can’t say,” he said. “What I can say is where he could reach.

“The support I reference is linked to taking a ball from back to front cleanly and to create danger.

“Bamford must participate and create danger, but the team must produce.

“I am responsible that the management of the ball to create danger. In that sense I haven’t managed to achieve what I’m looking for.”

Bielsa loves Bamford’s desire to improve and says he studies Europe’s top strikers, such as Saturday’s opponent Harry Kane.

The Tottenham striker is the Premier League’s top marksman with 21 goals and Bielsa said: “Bamford is a very, very dedicated professional.

“He’s a player who analyses the best scorers in the world in detail, in the English league, in the Germany league, in the French league, the best ones.

“Being able to show all the qualities a player has is what determines the success of any player.

“There are players who have very few resources, but put them on show to their maximum and some who have a lot of quality, but only show it less than 50 per cent of the time.”

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