By Alex Stevens

Liam Cooper has revealed he was told on Friday that he had been selected in the Leeds team to face Brighton on Saturday evening.

The centre-back was called into manager Garry Monk’s office at the Yorkshire club’s Thorp Arch headquarters and informed he would replaced Pontus Jansson in the starting X1.

Monk did not stand on ceremony as he gave the green light to Cooper making a shock start for the team in a decision that was a bombshell before kick-off to supporters and pundits.

It paid immediate dividends as Leeds won 2-0 and Cooper played a key role in a clean sheet before explaining how Monk delivered the news of his selection.

“Simple as that,” Cooper explained on Saturday evening, as quoted by the personal Twitter account of BBC journalist Adam Pope. “I’ve bided my time, been professional, been good around the place. Can’t say I’ve enjoyed being out but I’m part of a great team.”

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Monk revealed afterwards that Jansson was dropped as he felt Cooper was a better choice on the day to partner Kyle Bartley in the centre of defence.

Cooper has had his fair share of critics in his intermittent displays this season, not least in the wake of his last performance in the 2-0 defeat to Cardiff last month.

He has had to wait in line as Jansson has forged an outstanding centre-back partnership with fellow loanee Bartley this season that has laid the foundations for the team’s promotion charge.

However, the defender, 25, was handed just his 13th start of this campaign against Brighton, with only seven of those coming in the Championship.

Two goals from Chris Wood, the first a header and the second from the penalty spot, kept alive Leeds’ hopes of automatic promotion, although they remain eight points adrift of the second-placed side with eight matches of the campaign remaining.

In other Leeds team news, the Yorkshire giants are in shock talks to sign a Liverpool attacking player.

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