By Craig Scott

5th Sep, 2021 | 6:50pm

Roy Keane and Ian Wright defend Leeds United striker Patrick Bamford after

Roy Keane and Ian Wright had to defend Patrick Bamford’s performance for England on Sunday as the Leeds United striker made his international debut against Andorra.

Bamford, 28, failed to score before he was substituted off for Harry Kane in the 62nd minute and host Mark Pougatch questioned the centre-forward at half-time on ITV.

Pougatch said: “He’s making the runs but he’s not necessarily getting the ball. I’m saying he is shy but this is no occasion to be shy, is it?

“Demand the ball, tell your teammates you’re making the runs.”

Ex-Arsenal and England striker Wright responded by saying: “It’s your debut and you’re nervous. I remember myself, you go in and you make your runs and [Alan] Shearer’s getting all the passes.

“But you’ve got to make the runs and he’s made some very good runs. He’s been very unselfish, he’s done some good link-up play.

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“Everything he’s [said] about his game, he’s shown us in this first half that when he comes in, he can link.”

Pougatch then turned to Keane and said: “So you take my point, this is not the scene to be a shy, retiring wallflower, is it? Demand the ball.”

Keane then defended Bamford too, saying: “Don’t forget it’s his first time in the squad, his first cap so we’ve got to understand that.

“If he keeps making [those] runs, he’ll get his reward.”

Shush, Pougatch

Why are people being so hard on the striker at the head of the attack rather than criticising those who barely created anything for him?

Bukayo Saka created the only real chance for Bamford and even that left the Leeds striker stretching. Peter Crouch maybe would have got on the end of that ball but not Bamford.

Wright and Keane are right about Bamford. It was his debut and he played well.

Unfortunately for him, strikers are judged on goals and he failed to score against one of the worst teams in European football – people will point that out and use it against him.

However, we all know how good Bamford is and we all know that he can score for fun when he’s supplied with enough chances.

England barely created anything while the ex-Middlesbrough striker was on the pitch. It’s no shock that he didn’t score in a team that had a right-back playing in the midfield.

In other Leeds United news, Lee Dixon wasn’t impressed by Bamford either.