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National newspaper slams Leeds United defender Liam Cooper

Leeds United skipper Liam Cooper started for Scotland against Northern Ireland on Tuesday night at Hampden Park.

Steve Clarke’s side produced a disappointing performance as they lost 1-0, with Liverpool’s Conor Bradley scoring the only goal.

The Scotland boss handed Cooper a rare start as the 32-year-old replaced Ryan Porteous. It also meant Jack Hendry was shifted out onto the righthand in a three-man defence.

Leeds quartet in Cardiff also ended up on the losing side for Wales as they suffered a painful defeat against Poland after Daniel James missed his penalty. Junior Firpo also ended up on the losing side while Willy Gnonto’s Italy U21 were held to a 1-1 draw.

With age catching up, it was probably the last chance for Cooper to stake a claim for a place in Germany for the Euro 2024. This could be his final major tournament, but Clarke won’t be very pleased with the effort he displayed last night.

Scottish media slams Leeds United defender Liam Cooper

Cooper, the inspirational Leeds skipper over the years, has struggled for regular game time at the club. The partnership of Joe Rodon and Pascal Struijk kept him out at the start of the season, and after the Dutchman got injured, Daniel Farke used Ethan Ampadu at the back, a move that has worked wonders.

The veteran defender last played in the FA Cup clash against Chelsea in February and has made only seven starts in the Championship thus far.

The Scottish Daily Mail (page 75) wasn’t impressed with his effort and gave him a 4/10 rating, citing it was not a convincing performance from him.

They wrote: “Stood off too long when Charles had a great chance to make it 2-0 on 43 minutes and was not convincing.”

The Daily Record, however, has given him a 6/10 rating adding – “Done as Charles just shot wide. Header wide.”

Cooper is a vastly experienced defender but Farke is left with no option but to drop him at the moment. The partnership of Ampadu and Rodon has blossomed and unless there’s any major injury, Farke cannot bring him into the starting line-up.

He has a contract at Elland Road until the end of the season and chances are high that the club will not offer him a new deal.

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