Leeds United captain Liam Cooper has revealed the mood at Thorp Arch has been damaged by the FA’s decision to reject Pascal Struijk’s red card appeal.
The Lowdown: Controversial
Centre-back Struijk will be unavailable for selection for the next three games after his red card against Liverpool was confirmed by the FA.
The 22-year-old defender replaced Diego Llorente, who limped off injured, but was then shown his marching orders after a challenge on Harvey Elliott resulted in the Liverpool midfielder sustaining a serious ankle injury.
Struijk will miss Friday’s trip to Newcastle United, as well as Tuesday’s Carabao Cup tie with Fulham and the home game with West Ham United.
The Latest: Cooper feels ‘let down’
Club captain Cooper played the full 90 minutes at Elland Road on Sunday and has spoken to BBC Radio Leeds (via Leeds All Over) about the verdict by the FA.
The defender said: “It’s a tough one, I spoke to Pasc (Struijk) after the game. In my eyes, it’s a freak accident.
“Losing Pascal for three games is a big loss for us. He’s started the season unbelievably, he’s taken to the role unbelievably and he’s been great for us this season.
“To lose him for three games is disappointing. The authorities have maybe let Pascal down a little bit. I don’t see how, after seeing that, he hasn’t gone to hurt anyone, it’s not malicious, and knowing Pascal as I do personally, he would never do that.
“I think we have been let down a little bit.”
The Latest: Major hit
Leeds will be hoping that being without Struijk will not mean their winless start to the season continues. Coming up against Steve Bruce’s Newcastle United is a great chance to earn their first win – the Magpies are yet to grab a three-point haul of their own too.
Struijk’s performances last season were impressive though and former United star Dominic Matteo even claimed the defender ‘has it all’, so he will certainly be missed.
With Llorente and Robin Koch also out, a winnable fixture for the Whites suddenly looks troublesome, so it is no surprise to hear Cooper admit to a feeling around Thorp Arch of being ‘let down’ by the FA.
In other news, this Sky Sports pundit believes this FA ban should have been overturned. Find out more here.
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