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Crystal Palace assistant manager responds to Chelsea's concerns about Patrick Bamford

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One thing is quite clear, young Patrick Bamford's time at Crystal Palace has not gone according to plans, expectations, or hopes.  The reigning Player of the Year of England's second tier decided to stay in London this year season while making the next step up in his development to the top flight.  Unfortunately, so far, all that's gotten him is roughly two hours of competitive action through the first two months, only 16 minutes of which came in the Premier League.

Understandably, Chelsea are concerned by the striker's lack of proper match-action.  The concern is real enough apparently that Crystal Palace's assistant manager Keith Millen has seen fit to respond and explain a few things publicly as well.  Presumably, these sorts of conversations happen behind the scenes regardless of public knowledge of course.

"We have spoken to Chelsea, they keep in contact with us and really do analyse what is going on with their players. Early on [Bamford] found it quite a step up as far as the tempo and demands of the Premier League plus the way we play and train. He had to adapt. But he also had a little niggly problem with his knee which has not stopped him playing but has not been ideal."

"Without doubt he has got the talent - he is a finisher who pops up in good positions. He can score a goal. It's just whether Alan [Pardew] feels he can put him on as a number nine or as a 10 in the pocket, sometimes we want that pace to run in behind, which isn't really Patrick's game."

"He's been a little bit unlucky and not done a lot wrong. It's just about the balance of players on the pitch because he can play number nine or 10. But it's been a good experience for him but shows the step up from the Championship. It's another level."

"Chelsea will monitor it because they will want to see him having more game time."

-Keith Millen; source: South London Press

Millen obviously cannot and doesn't guarantee any additional playing time for the 22-year-old, but at least now we know a bit more about just why things haven't quite worked out (yet?) for the striker at Palace.

Bamford's faced similar challenges in his previous loans as well, and he's managed to win a starting job at each and every one of his clubs so far.  No doubt, he feels confident in doing just the same at Palace, too.  If he doesn't, I'm sure Chelsea will waste no time in looking for a different opportunity for the kid in January.