Leeds United have a tough match coming up on against Burnley, and Marcelo Bielsa will want to put things right following their loss to Manchester United. He will have to do it without his captain though, as Phil Hay confirmed Liam Cooper will miss out. Alex McLeish has given his opinion on the injury.
What McLeish had to say about Cooper
Speaking to Football Insider, the former Scotland manager said: “That’s when you do fear for your squad when you lose key players and you don’t have replacements. That is a very, very difficult thing to put a sticking plaster on, it’s so difficult because it can affect the whole team.
“Despite all the training you’ve done over the years, you’ve still got an inherent fitness, but as your legs are getting older and you start to get the niggles and injuries.
“Cooper has been playing an intensity and it’s harder for especially the Leeds defenders because they’re so gallant a team going forward, it leaves them with a lot of work to do at the back.”
Leeds will miss Cooper
Leeds already have injuries at the back, with Robin Koch recovering from surgery, so the last thing Bielsa would have wanted to see was an injury to another key centre-back.
Noel Whelan discussed the defender in the past and said: “When he first came in he struggled to cement himself as that leader and centre-half that we could not do without but now we have seen him develop into that player. He is a dominant centre-half.”
The 29 year-old has had a very solid season and has featured 11 times in the Premier League (WhoScored). In these appearances, he has managed on average 2.6 tackles, 2.3 interceptions and three clearances per game. This shows that he loves to get stuck in and is great at breaking up opposition attacks.
He will be a huge miss for the Burnley game as Leeds will undoubtedly face a very physical battle against Sean Dyche’s side.
In other news, Leeds have been tipped to sign a Premier League forward – read more about it.
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