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Leeds boss Sam Allardyce has urged Patrick Bamford to respond to threats made on social media by scoring the winner at West Ham on Sunday.
Allardyce also wants “the police to do a lot more” after Bamford’s penalty miss in last week’s home draw against Newcastle prompted online abuse directed at both the striker and his family.
Leeds issued a statement this week condemning the threats posted on Twitter and Allardyce said: “He’s been OK, he’s obviously extremely upset about the situation. It’s something which leaves a very, very bad taste indeed.
“I would like the police to do a lot more, but it appears when it’s social media, they rule and run the world and can say and do what they want unfortunately, which is why the world is in such a big mess, isn’t it?
“He’s handled it pretty well, I think the club gave him as much support as he needed, particularly security-wise.
“It wasn’t just about him, it was about his family. The best way to respond is to go out on the pitch on Sunday, perform to his highest level, try and score.
“And it would be even greater if he scored the winner. Hopefully it won’t affect his performance.”
Leeds are desperate for all three points at West Ham in their bid to climb out of the relegation zone and cling on to their top-flight status.
They sit third from bottom, one point from safety, with Sunday’s trip to the London Stadium followed by a home game against Tottenham on the final day.
West Ham reached the Europa Conference League final with victory over AZ Alkmaar on Thursday and Allardyce hopes his former club’s success could play to Leeds’ advantage.
He said: “They’ve got a final to think about, haven’t they? Subconsciously, you’ll never know whether that may affect the players in terms of when they go out and play.
“They’ll go out and play and try their best, (but) subconsciously, they won’t want to get injured.
“So they might be a little more tentative, who knows? But my job is about my team playing to the best they possibly can play.”
Leeds will be without suspended defender Junior Firpo on Sunday, but skipper Liam Cooper has returned to training and could be included in the squad.
Tyler Adams (hamstring), Luis Sinisterra (ankle) and Stuart Dallas (fractured femur) remain long-term absentees.
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