By Mark Smith

28th Dec, 2019 | 8:00am

MOT View: Sky Sports pundit barking up wrong tree with 'Sceptical' criticism of Leeds mainstay

It was an off-day for most Leeds United players on Boxing Day as they managed to earn a point in the 1-1 draw with Preston.

The most important thing when you are struggling to win a game is to not lose it, and Leeds did exactly that when Stuart Dallas somewhat, fortunately, equalised at Elland Road.

Many aspects of the Whites’ usual style were not right. From Kiko Casilla and his defence not kickstarting attacks quick enough to the whole team coughing up possession far too easily – Marcelo Bielsa will take a point and run.

It was hard to pinpoint one player who deserved to be slated, and it is just more important that Leeds take this point and go and collect three at Birmingham on Sunday.

Darren Bent recently singled out Liam Cooper for criticism over his performance against Preston, claiming that he makes too many mistakes in general.

“Whenever I watch Cooper, he’s got that in him,” the Sky Sports pundit told Football Insider.

“I’ve seen him throughout the years always make mistakes, yeah he’s a good captain, a good leader and most of the time he plays really well.

“But every game there is a lapse in concentration, sometimes they get punished, sometimes they don’t. Sometimes he’ll try to force the ball into midfield with a pass, he gives it away.

“So for me…hmmm when it comes to Liam Cooper…I’m a little bit sceptical but he has been there a long time, he has played well at times, he is their captain so you obviously have to stick with him.”

Bent clearly hasn’t watched Leeds enough, with Cooper being one of our standout players all season. The Scottish international has stepped up massively under Bielsa, who will be delighted with the consistency his captain is showing.

The 28-year-old has been solid in defence as well as pivotal in the possession-based style Leeds play. Cooper has averaged 61.1 passes per game according to WhoScored – the most in the entire squad.

Bent is barking up the wrong tree with his criticism of Cooper, and to say that the defender has a lapse of concentration in every single game is certainly a misjudgement, with the experienced enforcer pivotal to Leeds’ style.

In other Leeds United news, ‘Great’ – Radrizzani responds to Leeds fan on Twitter over January concerns