During his recent visit to the Under-21’s, Leeds striker Patrick Bamford said he needed to “have a go” at youngster Darko Gyabi.
In order to increase his chances of playing time while recovering from an injury, Bamford dropped down a level, and he scored three goals in the 6-2 victory over Southampton’s under-21 squad on Friday.
However, Bamford said that after the Whites let up two late consolation goals, he spoke with summer addition Gyabi about making a tackle and claims he took it well in an effort to assist the club.
Bamford told LUTV, “I try to support them as much as I can, even if it means I had a go at Darko on the pitch.”
He handled it well because I get along well with him in the locker room, but I warned him: “Sometimes you’ve got to put your foot through it and put a tackle in.
“As I stated, it’s a part of their collective learning curve. We go down to help them with these activities, but perhaps we can also demonstrate for them in some ways what they need to accomplish.
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Bamford demonstrated what was already clear to everyone: as a full international and 29-year-old Premier League player, he is much beyond the level of a young squad.
But going down to that level to get minutes showed the young players exactly the type of mentality and quality they need to be able to make it at the highest level, and getting advice from him can only be seen as a positive.
It may have come across as having a go because of the in-match nature of it, but it’s simply advice to help the player become better and to ensure that the team don’t get complacent in the future.
Gyabi will take it and learn from it, and ensure that next time he is in a game situation he will get stuck in and be focused for the full 90 minutes regardless of the result because of Bamford’s words.
It’s a positive that regardless of armband or level, Bamford wants to win and focuses on the team rather than himself and the young players will only benefit from having someone like that around.