Leeds United boss saluted by medical expert after 'brave' Cooper reveal

By Ben Dinnery

10th May, 2022 | 3:07pm

Leeds United news: Expert salutes 'brave' Liam Cooper decision - 'Not many would do that'

Leeds United boss Jesse Marsch deserves credit for holding Liam Cooper back against Arsenal last Sunday (8 May) when most managers would have gambled with his fitness.

That is the view of injury expert Ben Dinnery, who runs the Premier Injuries site and has a background in medicine and data analysis.

Cooper, 30, spent nearly four months on the sidelines with a hamstring injury between November and March.

The Leeds skipper played four times on his return to action before again being ruled out with a knee injury.

The Scottish centre-back was a late fitness call ahead of the 2-1 defeat at the Emirates last Sunday but Marsch ultimately elected to leave him out of the matchday squad.

As quoted by Leeds Live on Tuesday (10 May), the manager revealed that he expects Cooper to be available for the clash against Chelsea on Thursday (12 May).

Subscribe to Football Insider TV now

And Dinnery claimed that it is uncommon for a manager to put a player’s physical health ahead of results on the pitch as Marsch did prior to the Arsenal match.

I think it was a brave decision,” he told Football Insider’s Adam Williams.

“If we are talking about protecting the player, it was the right decision. Not many other managers would have done that.

“Cooper was probably pushing to be involved and the decision has likely come from Marsch to hold him back a bit.

“Even though it was a big game and they needed a result, he has still gone down that route. It’s nice to see in that regard.

“In the cold light of day, you never want to put someone out there and put them at risk of exacerbating their problems. Hopefully, those few extra days will stand him in good stead.”

Cooper has scored once in 19 appearances this term.

Relegation-threatened Leeds moved into the bottom three after the defeat in North London.

In other news, Leeds United employee issues “massive” Luke Ayling claim amid dressing room reveal.