By Alex Stevens

Liam Cooper has praised under-fire manager Steve Evans as a “good motivator” amid dressing room mutiny claims.

It has been claimed owner Cellini has been persuaded to dismiss Evans after the club’s hierarchy were approached by the senior players and told they have no faith in the Scot.

A run of three successive league victories had lifted Leeds away from a potential relegation fight, but the mood at Elland Road has severely soured following the recent 4-1 home defeat to local rivals Huddersfield.

Senior players are said to have told club chiefs that they are unwilling to play for Evans, who has a history of dressing-room bust-ups during his managerial career.

But Cooper has defended Evans, whose influence has led to the defender’s maiden Scotland call-up ahead of Tuesday night’s potential full international debut against Denmark at Hampden Park.

“He’s just an honest manager, he’s a good motivator,” Cooper said at a media briefing on Monday. “He gets the boys up for the game. He’s honest with us, he keeps us going all the time and we just buy into that.

“Of course I understand the level of interest in the club. It’s a massive club and obviously the media are interested in everything.

Massimo Cellini is at war with Sky over their transmission of Leeds matches

Axe man: Cellini is said to be ready to dispense with Evans

Cellino has said he will make a decision on Evans’ future at the end of the season after another disappointing season in the Championship has left the controversial Italian seeking yet another managerial change.

Cooper, 24, observed: “We just concentrate on what we’ve got to do on the pitch, we turn a blind eye to what’s going on off the pitch.

“We try to do our best for the club, the supporters and the management staff.”

In other Leeds news, ex-Elland Road striker and BBC pundit Noel Whelan gives his verdict on whether the club should axe Evans.