Soccer-Bamford's absence not the only reason for Leeds not scoring, says Bielsa

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Premier League - Newcastle United v Leeds United - St James' Park, Newcastle, Britain - September 17, 2021 Leeds United's Patrick Bamford reacts REUTERS/Scott Heppell

(Reuters) - Leeds United have created fewer goal-scoring chances in recent matches but the issue cannot be only blamed on the absence of striker Patrick Bamford, manager Marcelo Bielsa said ahead of Sunday's Premier League trip to Norwich City.

England international Bamford, Leeds' top scorer in the league last season with 17 goals, has not played since he injured his ankle in their 1-1 draw at Newcastle United on Sept. 17.

Bielsa's team have recorded two defeats in the four league games without Bamford, scoring three times. They are 17th in the standings after nine games with seven points, three above the relegation zone.

"This is a question that to answer properly would need 10 minutes," the Argentine coach said when asked about the impact of Bamford's absence.

"If you listen to my previous answers on this subject you will see the answers I have made. I always try to give conclusions upon reflection.

"We have clearly lowered the amount of dangerous chances created. Of course, (if) Bamford was here his presence would be valued, but our drop is not linked to him."

Bielsa said Bamford will miss Sunday's game, along with defenders Luke Ayling and Robin Koch, but winger Raphinha and midfielder Kalvin Phillips are available.

"There is no precise return date for the injuries of Bamford, Ayling or Robin Koch," the 66-year-old added. "They can't be calculated exactly, they are all subject to their evolution."

(Reporting by Manasi Pathak in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge)

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