By Jonty Banks

17th Feb, 2023 | 6:40am

Patrick Bamford hails Leeds United talks with Michael Skubala on Sky Sports

Patrick Bamford has revealed to Sky Sports he was left impressed with new Leeds United interim boss Michael Skubala’s man-management skills following a behind-scenes talk after the defeat to Manchester United.

Skubala was charged with leading the Whites for the foreseeable future after the club failed to find a replacement for the sacked Jesse Marsch – and has claimed a point so far from two tough fixtures against Manchester United.

The English coach withdrew Bamford for Georginio Rutter in the 58th minute during the 2-0 loss at Elland Road last Sunday (12 February), with the striker visibly frustrated at his shortened playing minutes.

However, during an interview with Sky Sports (Thursday 16 February), Bamford revealed the way Skubala dealt with the situation was top-class following a conversation between the pair after the game.

He said: “I spoke to him after [the game], and I literally said to him, ‘why did you take me off?’, and he said I should have taken you off later. I probably did it too soon.

“He pulled me to the side and basically had a chat with me and reassured me of his trust and confidence in me, and I said to him, ‘of all the managers I have had, never lose that wherever you go’.

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“Because that honesty and transparency and calmness in that conversation, if somebody was heated, he had just diffused the whole thing, and it was brilliant man management.

“So I said well done because I thought that was fantastic.”

Big task

Although Skubala has impressed supporters and players during his early days in the Elland Road dugout, how he will fair in the heat of a relegation fight is yet to be seen.

Facing Manchester United twice in the space of a week was always going to be a tough task, but the underdog status may well have relieved the pressure from Skubala’s shoulders.

However, a trip this weekend to Goodison Park to face relegation rivals Everton, followed by a home match against rock-bottom Southampton will be where he ultimately judged.

Skubala faces a huge task to get the likes of Bamford fully clicking in the final third, as Leeds’ failure to find the back of the net has continued to plague them since the restart after the World Cup.

Conversations such as these will hopefully restore the English forward’s confidence enough to see him return to form and rediscover his goalscoring boots.

In other Leeds United news, click here to see breaking, around-the-clock updates on Leeds’ search for a new manager in our interactive live blog.

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