Kevin Phillips is “sure” Liam Cooper will go straight back into the Leeds United starting eleven for their “really important” game against Fulham this weekend.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs, the former England striker believes it is imperative Leeds get points on the board or the pressure will begin to mount.
Club captain Cooper missed the Whites’ Premier League opener against Liverpool but Marcelo Bielsa confirmed this week that the 29-year-old will be “ready to play” against Fulham.
💬 “We think Cooper will be ready to play" Marcelo gives an update on the team ahead of tomorrow's Fulham clash
— Leeds United (@LUFC) September 18, 2020
In his absence, Robin Koch made his debut at the heart of the defence alongside 21-year-old Pascal Struijk as Leeds lost 4-3 to last season’s Premier League champions.
And Phillips now expects Marcelo Bielsa to throw the Scottish international straight back in against Fulham.
He told Football Insider: “He’ll come back in, I’m sure of it.
“He’s the captain, so he’s a big, big character in the dressing room so I expect him to be put straight back in.
“It’s a really important game for Leeds, they need to get some points on the board pretty quick to settle everyone down.
“If you go another game without a win then all of sudden, people start talking about the pressure and it can do all sorts of things.
“So I expect him to come straight back in.”
Cooper, 29, featured 37 times in the league last season for Leeds as the Whites secured the Championship title and returned to the Premier League after a 16 year absence.
The Hull-born defender has played 198 games for Leeds across all competitions and has chipped in with eight goals since joining from Chesterfield in 2014.
In other Leeds United news, Danny Mills is sure “exceptional” Leeds attacker will start against Fulham.