Leeds United’s 1-0 win over Watford without Patrick Bamford was ‘massive’ for Marcelo Bielsa and co, according to former Scotland manager Alex McLeish.
The Lowdown: First win of season
England international Bamford was absent for the victory over Watford due to an ankle injury, leaving Bielsa with no choice but to select Rodrigo as his striker.
Diego Llorente’s first-half header was the difference at Elland Road as Leeds earned their first win of the season against Watford in what was Xisco Munoz’s final game in charge of the club before being replaced by Claudio Ranieri.
The victory lifted Leeds clear of the relegation zone, now three points ahead of Burnley in 18th.
The Latest: Big boost for Leeds
Speaking to Football Insider, McLeish admitted his concerns about Leeds’ form, but insisted the victory over the Hornets will provide a huge boost that they can win without their number nine.
“Certainly there was a lot of entertainment again from Leeds.
“To be honest, it’s brilliant news for Leeds because in recent weeks I’ve been worried about them.
“Thinking back to last season, they were winning, losing, winning, losing winning. They were keeping a kind of momentum.
“This time they’ve lost two or three. Could they come back in this one against a Watford team who you know are in the lower half of the table and toiling a wee bit?
“We’ve got to think about the levels they’re playing at. For Leeds to win that game, I think was a massive surge for them and their mentality, for the players to realise they can win without Patrick.”
Will Bamford hit double digits again this season?
The Verdict: Goals from elsewhere
This season, it is no surprise that Leeds’ poor start to the season has coincided with Bamford’s lack of goals. His only strike of the campaign came in the 1-1 draw with Burnley and he has only managed 0.8 shots on target per game.
Bielsa simply must discover other sources of goals going forward – just look at reigning champions Manchester City, who have 11 different goalscorers in the top flight already this term.
In other news, Leeds have agreed personal terms with one of their targets for 2022. Find out more here.
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