By Noel Whelan

5th Oct, 2022 | 1:20pm

Leeds United employee shares 'massive' Liam Cooper claim as new details emerge

Noel Whelan has hailed Leeds United defender Liam Cooper for the part his return played in securing a vital point for the Elland Road side.

The former Whites striker and club ambassador, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, insisted he saw “a different side” to Jesse Marsch’s outfit during the 0-0 draw against Aston Villa on Sunday (2 October).

Leeds United played with 10 men for almost the whole second half, resisting Villa’s 19 efforts to claim a valuable point.

Scotland international Cooper made eight clearances and won four of his six aerial duels during the clash, while goalkeeper Illan Meslier made six saves and three high claims (as per Sofascore).

Leeds United now sit 12th in the Premier League but have played a game fewer than many of their rivals.

Whelan insisted Cooper’s first senior appearance of the season was a “big plus” for Marsch.

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When asked how promising it was to see Leeds United hold Aston Villa with 10 men, he told Football Insider’s Ewan Kingsbury: “It’s massive.

“Cooper coming back into the side was a big plus, I thought he was brilliant on the evening.

“His grit and determination really helped us. We had that organisation and desire, and all that gave us the first clean sheet of the season.

“We saw a different side to Leeds to really grind out that result, throwing bodies on the line and digging in.

“It was a solid defensive performance, and we really chose the right times to go and counter-attack as well.

“I commend the players for the way they battled for the point.”

In other news, Kieran Maguire claim Leeds United are taking “near-£20million” gamble amid courtroom twist.