Cooper preaches caution as he gives insight into Leeds approach v Derby

Date published: Tuesday 14th May 2019 9:14

Liam Cooper has revealed Leeds will go for the jugular against Derby on Wednesday evening – but has warned his teammates to take nothing for granted when the match with the Rams gets underway.

Kemar Roofe’s 55th-minute goal in the first leg against Derby at Pride Park on Saturday has given Leeds the advantage in their play-off semi-final, but captain Cooper has insisted they will not be sitting back on Wednesday.

“If we go into this game thinking we have to protect a lead we will be our own worst enemy,” he said, in views which were echoed on Monday by Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa.

“So we go to win the game. We’ll commit men forward, we’ll attack as we always do and the best team over the two legs will go through.”

Leeds have had the upper hand in all of their last three meetings with Derby, winning 4-1 at Pride Park and 2-0 at Elland Road during the regular season.

But Cooper – who is also backing the returning Patrick Bamford to make amends for his recent two-match suspension – has warned his teammates past results will count for nothing when the match gets underway.

“The game (on Saturday) was a lot closer, that might have been the magnitude of the game, I don’t know,” Cooper added.

“Derby have got a lot of players who can hurt you. Obviously, we nullified them to zero shots on target at the weekend, but those games have gone now.

“All focus is on Wednesday and we’ll be looking to go and beat them again.”

Liam Cooper TEAMtalk

Leeds will be without Adam Forshaw on Wednesday; the midfielder now doubtful for the play-off final should United get there.

But his absence is likely to pave the way for a rare senior start for Jamie Shackleton, with Bielsa explaining why he’s happy to pin his trust in the Leeds-born teenager.

 

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