Alex McLeish has hailed Liam Cooper and claimed Man City were “scared” of the intensity of him and his Leeds United teammates.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, the former Rangers and Scotland boss said he could see the “confidence oozing” from the 29-year-old.
Cooper played the full 120 minutes in Scotland’s 5-3 penalty shootout victory over Israel last week in their European Championship qualifying play-off semi-final.
However, the Leeds skipper picked up a groin injury in training and withdrew from the Scotland squad before their game with Slovakia on Sunday.
The Yorkshire giants confirmed that he will face a late fitness test ahead of their Premier League clash with Wolves on Monday night and could face up to two weeks out.
Asked by Football Insider what he made of Cooper’s performance against Israel, McLeish said: “You can see the confidence oozing out of players when they’re playing in the Premier League in England and they come and play for Scotland.
“I remember back in the day playing with Kenny and being a bit in awe of him and Souness and those when they come back up, but when you get to know them you think, ‘hang on, we’re the same level here’, and it kind of empowers the home guys as well.
“The Premier League players have been playing to really good performance levels at the moment like Cooper with Leeds.
“They’ve made a fantastic start to their campaign and I’d never seen Man City not doing their high press in a game for a long time.
“Such was Leeds’ possession that you could tell City were a little bit scared of them. That’s credit to Bielsa and also to players like Cooper.”