By Danny Wright

Scotland manager Gordon Strachan has admitted that he made a mistake about leaving Leeds United defender Liam Cooper out of his last Tartan Army squad.

Cooper, 26, was announced in the Scotland side for their upcoming World Cup qualifier fixtures against Slovakia and Slovenia on Monday morning and he is in line to potentially earn his first senior international caps.

The centre-back has been in great form for Leeds this season, helping them reach the top of the Championship table at this early stage while wearing the captain’s armband.

He has had his injury concerns as of late but that didn’t stop him from returning to action against Ipswich on Saturday in the 3-2 win.

Strachan has now revealed that he has been delighted with the form of Cooper after reading about what his scouts have reported about him, and is keen to ensure he will not hesitate to call the Leeds man up again if his purple patch continues.

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“He’s playing well. He’s playing in a winning side and he is a big influence on the side, he is the captain now. That’s big progress for Leeds, which is good, and himself,” said the Scotland manager, as quoted by TeamTalk.

“I probably should have had him in the last squad to be honest but I made sure I didn’t make the same mistake again. Because of his performances, he is back in the squad. He has been highly-rated by my scouting staff and myself over the past couple of months.

“It’s always good that the players come here on a high, and hopefully most of them are on a high.

“Some are not at the top of their game but they can still bring things to the squad.”

Cooper has been called up to the Scottish national squad on previous occasions but is yet to feature on the pitch.

Charlie Mulgrew and Christophe Berra are Strachan’s usual culprits in the heart of defence and the Leeds ace will no doubt provide a lot of competition to the pair, and possible even oust them from their spots, for two vital upcoming games.

In other Leeds United news, Cardiff boss Neil Warnock has slammed Ken Bates ahead of his side’s match against the Whites.

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