Leeds United expecting major training boost after injury ahead of Southampton clash

Daniel Farke is hopeful of a Leeds United training boost before Saturday -Credit:Andrew Fosker/REX/Shutterstock
Daniel Farke is hopeful of a Leeds United training boost before Saturday -Credit:Andrew Fosker/REX/Shutterstock

Training at Leeds United should have been boosted by the return of Patrick Bamford since the weekend. The number nine was missing from Friday’s drubbing at Loftus Road and, given the scoreline, a lot of stock has been put in his importance for Saturday’s finale.

Southampton visit Elland Road on Saturday as the Championship concludes with 12 matches kicking off at 12.30pm. Everything apart from the title will be decided on the final day, including United’s promotion fate, though all attention will first be on Ipswich Town at Coventry City tonight.

Meanwhile, Daniel Farke has been picking up the pieces from the team’s heaviest defeat of the season and a performance which left top-two hopes hanging by a thread. Bamford was not the only senior face missing from Friday’s squad, but his part in Monday’s win at Middlesbrough only emphasised his importance.

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Joel Piroe, his replacement, did not play well, like virtually everyone else in the side at Queens Park Rangers. Farke was pushed on his Piroe selection after the game, having, earlier this season, delivered a 13-minute explanation for why the Dutchman played behind Georginio Rutter before the turn of the year.

“Of course he can play number nine,” he said. “He has played in this role in the seasons before for Swansea [City and] has scored, in the last season, 19 goals, on the season before, 22 goals in the striker role and is, right now, on 12 goals for us.

“So of course he can he can play the number nine role. Yes, it's a reason why I loved, at least in the last month, to have Patrick Bamford on the pitch.

“I would definitely prefer to have him available, at least for this game, but then Joel was also the natural replacement for him. I also don't like to speak right now about [the idea] with Patrick Bamford we would have won this game.

“It was not just a striker position. In many offensive positions, in the first 20 minutes, we didn't show enough resilience and investment in this game. Same in the midfield position.

“We didn't win any duels in the last row. We lost each and every crucial duel and even in the goalkeeper position we could have done better today.

“There is no reason, right now, to point on just one replacement, Joel Piroe for Patrick Bamford. For Joel, it was also pretty unlucky and, also on a personal level, pretty disappointing for him that he comes in and we show such a performance.”

Bamford was rated as a doubt for last Friday’s game after developing a bruise on a knee. The striker was given every chance to recover in time and travelled to the stadium, but was not moving freely as he alighted the team bus.

Farke had hoped, as of last Friday, he would have his striker back in training from Monday at the latest.

“Joel was definitely not the reason we were hammered, but he was also a part of this game and, yes, obviously I would have preferred to have Patrick available, but due to the quick turnaround and the situation with him [he wasn’t available],” he said.

“He's got a bruise, his knee’s a bit swollen. Probably in two or three days he will be ready to go again, to train again, be available, but we just had three days between the games and for this game, he was not available.”