Leeds United

Noel Whelan is fuming with the decision which saw Leeds United captain Liam Cooper sent off in the 2-1 win over Manchester City.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Whites striker is adamant referee Andre Marriner “got it wrong” on Saturday and believes the dismissal was “very harsh”.

Cooper, 29, was initially given a yellow card for a high tackle on Gabriel Jesus but, after consulting the VAR monitor, Marriner changed his decision to a red.

A three-game ban will follow for the centre-half – he is set to miss games against Liverpool, Manchester United and Brighton.

Whelan does not expect the club to appeal the suspension with Pascal Struijk and Robin Koch available.

“That was not a red card,” he told Football Insider.

Subscribe to Football Insider TV now

“He won the ball very clearly. Yes, there was a follow-through but this is a contact sport at the end of the day. The referee got it wrong.

“Cooper was always running a risk with the ‘excessive force’ rule but I still think it was very harsh.

“I do not think they will try and appeal it though. There is plenty of options there now, so what is the point? Stuijk and Robin Koch have proven that they are more than capable options at centre-half so I do not see the point.

“Just take it, move on to Liverpool and focus on getting it right for that one.”

In other news, a pundit claims Bielsa could ‘sway’ one of the Championship’s top performers into joining Leeds United after an intriguing update.