Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink told Sky Sports’s live post-match coverage of Leeds United’s draw with Derby County on Saturday (broadcast on 21/9 from 12:00pm) that Patrick Bamford’s performance was brilliant – but he let himself down with his finishing.
It was an incredibly frustrating afternoon for Marcelo Bielsa’s side at Elland Road. They took the lead after 20 minutes as Max Lowe scored an own goal. But they could not find a second despite dominating the contest.
Bamford had a number of attempts. The striker attempted a lob that went well over the bar during the first-half, and hit the post from close range after the break.
He was not the only player to squander a brilliant chance – Mateusz Klich missed a penalty – but of course, he was the man that the team were looking to to put the game to bed. And Leeds were punished for their inability to score a second as Derby equalised in stoppage-time.
Hasselbaink lauded the 26-year-old’s overall display following the 1-1 draw, but insisted that he let himself down in the most important area.
“His performance was brilliant. It was brilliant,” he told Sky Sports. “But for a striker, it is about scoring goals and that’s what his team needs. He did ever so well, he did everything really good for the team and that’s why he’s playing because he does make the team play better. But they need goals.”
It may well be extremely frustrating for Bielsa. Leeds appear to have a brilliant balance when Bamford leads the line, but Eddie Nketiah looks to be a much more ruthless finisher.
It will be interesting to see whether Bielsa does make a change for Saturday’s clash with Charlton Athletic. The Leeds boss tends to stay loyal to the players in his starting lineup.
And, as Hasselbaink suggests, Bamford has been brilliant in almost every area this season. But his finishing has often not been good enough. It would be no surprise however, if Bielsa feels that he did enough to keep his place for the trip to the Valley.