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Patrick Bamford: 'I regret deception incident at Villa'

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"This year it's going to be a lot better"

Patrick Bamford says that he regrets the deception incident against Aston Villa, and that he has 'learned from it' and will never do it again.

The 25-year-old fell clutching his face in May's bizarre 1-1 draw with the Villains, despite camera replays showing no contact was made by Anwar El Ghazi. Upon review, Bamford was suspended for two matches. The former Chelsea striker is now concerned that he has a reputation for "milking" incidents to try and win free-kicks/penalties.

"Once I've put that in people's minds it's going to be hard to change that," said the ex-England U21 international.

"But it's something I've got to do over the next few years. Looking back, I regret it. I maintain he touched me but I milked it and made a stupid deal of it.

"I wouldn't do it again and it's something I have to learn from," he added.

Despite scoring 10 goals in 25 games, Bamford's season was far from memorable thanks to a serious cruciate ligament injury, which ruled him out of action for four months towards the beginning of the campaign.

Bamford also struggled to win over a selection of Leeds fans who felt he was wasteful in front of goal, with some even booing him in the warm-up away at Preston North End earlier in the season. He did manage to silence them with his performance at Deepdale, however, scoring two goals in a 2-0 win for the west Yorkshire side.

"I took a bit of stick last year from the fans," said the former Middlesbrough forward.

"There will always be people who like you or aren't such fans (of you), and for me it's an opportunity to prove them wrong and get them on my side.

"If we'd gone up last year I'd have said it had been a great season, missing six months and getting 10 goals I'd have been chuffed."

"But because we didn't go up, it was a nightmare season."

Leeds narrowly missed out on promotion after leading the pack for large parts of the campaign last time out. Under manager Marcelo Bielsa they have been transformed, though, with the Argentine brining a new wave of exciting, attack-minded football to Elland Road.

The Whites are currently favourites to win the division next May, priced at odds of 9/2 with most bookmakers and Bamford is looking forward to the new campaign.

"Injury [last season], almost made it, didn’t make it, it was a tough one to take, so this year it’s going to be a lot better."