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Liam Cooper makes admission about his approach to younger Leeds United teammates

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It seems that Leeds United captain Liam Cooper is keen to make an impression on the club’s next generation of players.

That’s after the centre back revealed how he has attempted to become an example to them, while linking up with the club’s Under 21s recently.

It has been a frustrating start to the season for Cooper, with a combination of his own fitness issues, and recent fixture postponements, restricting him to just one League Cup appearance so far.

As a result, the centre back found himself in something of a new role on Friday, when he was one of several senior players to feature for the Under 21s against Southampton, in a bid to boost his fitness.

That is something that certainly worked out rather well, with Cooper playing the full 90 minutes and scoring in a 6-2 win.

Now it seems that beyond his own ambitions in terms of getting back into the first-team setup, the 31-year-old is also keen to help those younger players with their own development.

Speaking about the role he feels he has when working with some of Leeds up and coming prospects, Cooper told The Yorkshire Evening Post: “First and foremost, try to be an example.

“We have a fairly young squad, sprinkled with a bit of experience, so I try to be a good example and apply myself every day to bring the best out of people.

“Whether that is through the way I apply myself, or being there as that shoulder to lean on when the boys need it.

“We have a great group, a very close group, that makes it all a lot easier and there are also a lot of leaders in this group.”

This is certainly good to see from Cooper.

In his role as club captain, these are the sort of things that he ought to be taking on responsibility for, given he has the experience and reputation that means younger players ought to be looking to him.

Indeed, after so long at the club, you feel this is the sort of impression he would want to make anyway, to ensure they continue to thrive even once he and other players have moved on.

Given he is gradually approaching the latter stages of his career, it could also be useful for Cooper himself to have this sort of experience, which could help set him up for another role in football after he stops playing.

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UCLan Sports Journalism graduate. Have been working for Leeds All Over since summer 2020, and can only be found writing on Football League World.

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