Danny Mills has admitted he is worried about a Leeds United “disaster” if they are without captain Liam Cooper for an extended period.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Whites and England defender compared their situation to Liverpool’s and claimed an injury crisis could bring the best out of a manager.
Marcelo Bielsa revealed in his press conference ahead of Sunday’s clash with Burnley Cooper has a “strain in his abdominals” and is a doubt for the game.
Leeds’ backline has been ravaged in recent weeks with Robin Koch out with a long-term injury and Diego Llorente only returning to training this week after another hamstring problem.
Right-back Luke Ayling has partnered Cooper at the heart of Bielsa’s defence in Leeds’ last three games in which they have conceded nine goals.
“It is a worry,” Mills told Football Insider.
“With Koch already out and we’re not sure how long he’s going to be out for. Llorente has struggled a bit with injuries as well.
“You have to say that’s the sign of a good team and a good coach – how do they adapt and cope in those situations?
“Everybody thought it was going to be a disaster for Liverpool when they picked up some really serious injuries to some unbelievably key players. But you know what? They’ve done alright. They’ve managed to hold that off and sustain their form and still be top of the league.
“It’s just everyday challenges that come along in football.”
Liverpool have been without first-choice centre-back pairing Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez since November but are still four points clear at the top of the table.