Leeds United forward Patrick Bamford opens up on play-off heartache against Southampton

Leeds United striker Patrick Bamford
-Credit: (Image: Getty)

Patrick Bamford has detailed the heartbreak he felt after Leeds United were beaten in this year's Championship play-off final.

Narrowly edged out by Southampton at Wembley Stadium, Adam Armstrong's first-half effort was enough to ensure the Saints returned to the Premier League in a 1-0 defeat for the Whites. Daniel Farke's side dominated for most of the second period but could not find a way through, with Crysencio Summerville and Dan James going close.

Confined to another season in the Championship, Bamford found the net nine times across a fruitful 2023/24 campaign. It's been a topsy-turvy spell for the 30-year-old at Elland Road, as he reflected on a painful ending in the capital a few short weeks ago.

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“We started off really well, we had all the ball, but they had more know-how and experience and defended well," said Bamford via My Mate's A Footballer Podcast. “They put bodies on the line, and until DJ (James) hit the bar, it didn’t look like we were going to score.

“While we had the ball, they controlled the game. They did really well to be fair. When it’s a final like that, it’s rare there is more than one goal because it’s quite cagey. It was horrible. I was sat there like a fan. I was jumping up at everything, hoping something was going to happen."

He continued: “Going into the game, I felt like we were going to win. It wasn’t our turn, really. A lot of the boys wanted to go and clap the fans afterwards. I spoke to Coops (Liam Cooper) and the manager. I said that we have to stay and congratulate Southampton.

“They have won. It was the right thing to do. They were in agreement and we stayed to clap them while they lifted the trophy. It’s bad to lose a game, but it’s worse if you lose and you’re bad sports. It was hard.”