The striker ended his 10-game goal drought.

Bielsa hails Bamford's "big personality" after striker ends goal drought

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  • 2019-11-10 03:06:06 3 days ago
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Head coach Marcelo Bielsa paid tribute to Patrick Bamford after the striker recovered his form in Leeds' 2-1 win over Blackburn at Elland Road.

Bamford ended his 10-game goal drought by scoring the opener from the penalty spot and then set up Jack Harrison for the second.

Despite Derrick Williams halving the deficit, Leeds held on to remain third, two points behind leaders West Brom.

"This is a player with a big character and a big personality," the Argentine said of the 26-year-old who, despite his lack of goals, still received the backing of the majority of Leeds supporters.

"He took the responsibility (for the penalty), which isn't easy for him."

Bielsa was also understandably happy with the victory, but would have liked a healthier buffer between the two teams given the hosts' dominance.

He added: "At that moment (2-0) it was difficult to think the opponent could score. But after they scored, everything changed.

"After we scored twice, we had 10 or 12 chances but in the first and the second half we had a lot of spaces to attack.

"We didn't take advantage of that as much as we should."

The first half-hour of the game was punctuated by sloppy passes from both sides despite some decent sequence of passing moves.

The only noteworthy effort was a Stuart Dallas effort that cleared the Rovers crossbar from outside the area after a fine run by the Northern Ireland international.

The game then sparked into life in the final 15 minutes of the first half.

Luke Ayling's run into the penalty area was halted by defender Tosin Adarabioyo and referee Gavin Ward immediately pointed to the spot.

Up stepped Bamford, who slotted home to end a wretched run without a goal – his last effort came in the 3-0 win at Stoke on August 24.

Minutes later Bamford turned provider as he plucked the ball out of the air and slipped in Harrison, who slotted home via a post.

Blackburn had not really fashioned an effort to trouble Kiko Casilla in the Leeds goal until Williams' header from a corner made it 2-1 just before the break.

The second half was a much tighter affair and there was an unsurprising nervousness inside Elland Road given the hosts' habit of not being able to kill teams off this season.

Harrison caught the eye and on another day could easily have had a hat-trick. He had numerous chances to add to his tally but failed to do so.

It was, therefore, a good job that Rovers lacked any sort of cutting edge in the second half, with the best they could muster a Williams effort that was wayward.

Rovers boss Tony Mowbray was far from happy with the performance of Ward and also questioned the standard of refereeing in the second tier.

He said: "It's always intense when you come to Elland Road. But the referee gives a penalty, which I've seen back a few times on the laptop and it's soft to say the least.

"It spoiled a little bit of the game for me. Is the standard of refereeing in the Championship dropping, or is it just me?

"It felt like that game was a bit much for him. In the context of the game it was a very soft penalty.

"Leeds didn't have hundreds of shots and when we got back to 2-1 there was a nervousness about them. We wanted to pray on that nervousness but it never materialised."

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Bielsa hails Bamford's "big personality" after striker ends goal drought

Slaven Bilic "very proud" as Baggies hold onto top spot

West Brom manager Slaven Bilic was proud of his side's performance to grind out a 1-0 win over Hull and stay top of the Championship.

The Baggies were not entirely comfortable at the KCOM Stadium and they almost fell behind when Kamil Grosicki missed the target after being put through on goal.

However, when Jake Livermore's vicious effort from outside the edge of the area beat George Long in the 28th minute, it was clear there was only going to be one winner.

Grady Diangana spurned a fine effort in the second half, but ultimately West Brom did enough to seal the win and maintain their two-point cushion at the summit.

"Credit to both teams," Bilic said after the game. "The work-rate, it was a good game and it was a game which two teams came into with confidence, both teams have had a great run in the last few games.

"We expected that from them, they are very good at transitions, the way they had their chance with Grosicki, it's typical Hull.

"All in all it was a good performance for us, the only thing that was missing was the second goal, we created not too many clear cuts, apart from Grady's chance.

"But mainly because of the result, you are suffering until the end of the game because they are taking risks more and more.

"To be fair they didn't create a lot later in the game when they were gambling and the wingers were staying up. We managed the game really well.

"I am very proud of the performance and it was a clean sheet, 1-0, a tough away game, a very tough away game, the only thing that was missing was the second goal."

Despite the defeat, Grant McCann was also pleased with parts of his side's performance against the top-of-the-table outfit.

"I think first half West Brom were much better than us," the Hull head coach said.

"We didn't lay a glove on them, we probably gave them a little bit too much respect and they're a top team, they're top of the league for a reason.

"I was disappointed with the first-half performance but in the second half I thought we were the better team.

"In the whole game I thought we had the best chances and the most clear-cut chances in the game. On another day we'd have taken it. That bit is frustrating.

"I was (heartened) second half. For us to get those chances against one of the best teams in the league, it shows that we're getting there and getting better.

"I think on a whole it was a nothing game, both keepers didn't have much to do. I feel as though we had chances but we just couldn't score them, we have been ruthless over the last 10 or 11 games, but today we wasn't."

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Jonathan Woodgate: 'I still have the backing of my players'

Middlesbrough boss Jonathan Woodgate insisted he still has the backing of his players after his struggling side earned a point at QPR.

Boro, third from bottom of the Sky Bet Championship and now without a win in nine matches, drew 2-2 at the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium, where Britt Assombalonga scored both their goals.

Woodgate's squad has been ravaged by injuries but he was boosted by George Friend, Darren Randolph and Ashley Fletcher making themselves available to play despite not being fully fit.

Keeper Randolph, who was this week included in the Republic of Ireland squad, produced a string of excellent saves.

Woodgate said: "Randolph was out, George Friend was back in training but I didn't think he'd be playing, Fletcher out – they come and knock on my door on Friday morning.

"They said, 'Gaffer, I want to play. I'm not 100 per cent fit but I want to play for you'. That's top.

"The situation we're going through at the minute, it's difficult and they could have taken the easy option and not played.

"Darren could have said, 'I'm not 100 per cent, I want to wait for Ireland'. He played today. George Friend played after three training sessions. Ashley Fletcher had a calf strain and played.

"They want to play. They want to play for us. That was really positive. It shows what the players are like – they want to stick together and they want to play for me.

"For the situation we're in, there's no negativity. Everyone's positive and that's really important for me."

Boro had not scored in their previous four matches and Assombalonga had only scored once since August.

But Woodgate said: "I've said all along that he will score goals.

"Every striker goes through patches and confidence dips. Stick with it. He's a goalscorer.

"Stay confident because he will score goals. Back him no matter what. No matter what situation he's going through, I back my number nine."

Assombalonga headed in a first-half opener but Nahki Wells equalised and an own goal by Jonny Howson meant Rangers led at half-time.

But Boro were handed a lifeline midway through the second half when Wells' appalling backpass went straight to Assombalonga, who took full advantage.

QPR manager Mark Warburton defended on-loan Burnley striker Wells, whose goal was his ninth of the season.

"It (the backpass) didn't help but he's also the man that's scored a lot of goals for us and got us out of some sticky situations and he's human," Warburton said.

"If we take responsibility at the other end and put the ball in the back of the net then it relieves that burden and that (the backpass) is not the main talking point.

"Nahki is a top pro and he came straight into the dressing room and put his hand up for it, but for me it's not about that – he's human and you learn from your mistake and move on.

"But we should have put the ball in and been far more clinical in front of goal.

"We defend as a team and attack as a team and today we had a lot of possession in the second half in a good position at 2-1.

"What then happened, it happened, but how many chances did we have to put the ball in the net and didn't do it?"

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