Danny Mills was left raving with the leadership shown by Leeds United defender Liam Cooper during the club’s 2-0 win over Barnsley on Sunday.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, the former Leeds full-back says that the 28-year-old demonstrated his worth as the club captain after Eddie Nketiah won the Whites a penalty in the dying minutes at Oakwell.
The young striker and winger Pablo Hernandez were both vying to take the spot-kick, with Mateusz Klich eventually handed the ball by Cooper to slot his strike home and seal the three points.
Mills heralded the Scottish defender’s decision to take control of the situation and hand the ball to the Polish international, insisting it showed great leadership under pressure.
Mills told Football Insider: “What I really liked at the end of the game with the penalty – we’ve seen it a lot with Pogba and Rashford this season, Ross Barkley on Tuesday, who’s going to take it?
“I think Eddie Nketiah wanted the penalty, Hernandez wanted the penalty. Liam Cooper came all the way up from the back, grabbed the ball off everybody and gave it to Mateusz Klich. He just said: ‘No, he’s our penalty taker, he takes it. No matter the score, no matter whatever, this is the right thing to do.’
“Of course he scores and you have to say that’s really good captaincy.”
Klich has missed just one penalty from open play during his career, having been handed the role of FC Twente’s spot-kick taker during his loan spell in the Netherlands.
Of the four penalties awarded to Leeds last season, strikers Kemar Roofe and Patrick Bamford shared the duties with Pablo Hernandez, the Spaniard infamously hitting the post in a shock 2-1 defeat to Wigan during their hunt for promotion.