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Bamford: Glad to be back

19 March 2013

Patrick Bamford is eager to open his Dons account this evening when the Dons travel to Cheshire to take on Crewe Alexandra.

The 19-year-old striker has made five appearances for Karl Robinson’s side since joining on loan from former European Champions Chelsea but has yet to find the back of the net in Dons colours, despite several impressive performances.

And Bamford, whom the Blues bought for a reported fee of £1.5 million from Championship side Nottingham Forest in January 2012, is hoping to get his name on the score-sheet tonight, as the men from MK1 search a second successive victory.

Speaking ahead of the match, Bamford said: “I really want a goal. My Dad’s been saying to me ‘the more I force it, the longer it will take’ and so I’ve just got to relax and play my normal game and eventually it will happen.

“I know I can score goals because I’ve done it in the past but I just can’t force it as it will take longer. Hopefully it will come sooner rather than later, or maybe even tomorrow, we’ll see.”

Following an impressive debut against Colchester United in November, Bamford suffered a hamstring injury which kept him sidelined for two months, but after making his return to action against Sheffield United earlier this month, the talented youngster revealed his delight at being involved once again.

“It was great to get off to a good start against Colchester United but then it was obviously annoying to get hindered by my hamstring injury. 

"It’s been very frustrating. I was out for two months which is the longest I’ve ever been injured for and so I’ve been working really hard to get back. Watching football and not being able to play is definitely one of the most frustrating things I’ve had to do.

“I was following all the results while I was back with Chelsea and I came to watch the Barnsley and AFC Wimbledon games here and the Brentford game away as well but I didn’t have too much time off while doing my rehab.

“I’m back now, though, and hopefully I can build on it. I’ve had two substitute appearances and one start so I’m getting there.

“Chelsea wanted me to build my way back into the team, considering the fact I’d been out for two months. I was only allowed to play a maximum of 45 minutes in the first two games but after the start on the weekend I’m starting to feel like I’m getting back to match fitness. I was really tired after Saturday though.

“How long I play now, though, is up to Karl. I played 70 minutes on the weekend and so we’ll just have to see how I get on tomorrow night.”

Bamford made his first start since returning from the treatment room on Saturday, starting in a right-wing role alongside Stephen Gleeson and Dean Bowditch. And the Nottingham-born forward admitted that he’s happy to play anywhere during his time with the Dons.

“My preferred position is as the number 9, whether that’s up front on my own or alongside somebody else. But, playing the formation we play, there are four of us that can rotate around and it’s very fluid.

“The way we play is one of the main reasons why come here has been ideal for me. At my age, when you’re not immediately in the first-team set-up, you’ve got to push to get out on loan and gain that first-team experience that will only benefit you in the end.

“Joining MK Dons has been really helpful, especially because they play a similar system to Chelsea, where the football’s always on the floor and there’s not too many long balls.”

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