As injuries bite deep at Elland Road, Leeds United fans dread the pre-match pressers, or they have come to. These meetings of journalists and Marcelo Bielsa have come to be of a portentous nature.
It seems that every presser brings with it bad news, usually in the form of a player injury. All that does is add another body to the treatment room for Leeds’ medical staff to work on and another voice to fans wanting a raid on the January transfer market.
A number of high-profile stars at Elland Road are currently out injured, names such as Pontus Jansson and Luke Ayling featuring highly on that list. With defensive numbers dwindling, that’s bad enough. Yet with now no recognised keeper, after Bailey Peacock-Farrell’s knee injury revelation, Whites fans don’t know whether to laugh or cry.
There are green shoots of recovery in that players are slowly making their way out of the treatment room and onto the pitch. Loanee Izzy Brown has featured in a 45-minute, Under-23 appearance and has said he will feature a full 90 in the next Under-23 fixture.
Another reason to smile is that Patrick Bamford, United’s £7million buy from Middlesbrough is also on the comeback trail. And in some style
In a training field exercise, the £7million man is involved in a drill where a ball is played over the top and behind the defensive line. Bamford runs on to it, foregoes the customary ‘control-the-ball’ mentality, and fair lashes it over the keeper and into the goal.
Worldie strike as it is, that’s not the best part about it. That belongs to Marcelo Bielsa. Like a proud father, the Argentine comes running down the field, arms outstretched and beckoning others to join him.
When he reaches Bamford, he throws his arms around his striker and fully congratulates him on his strike.
The bigger picture to be gleaned from this is that not only can the former Middlesbrough man hit them, but that Patrick Bamford is definitely on the comeback trail and not a moment too soon.