By Mark Smith

16th Feb, 2020 | 8:30am

'Absolutely buzzing' - Liam Cooper 'delighted' for highly criticised Leeds ace after 1-0 win

Leeds United defender Liam Cooper has admitted that he was absolutely delighted for Kiko Casilla after the Whites kept a clean sheet in the 1-0 win over Bristol City.

The Spaniard has faced serious calls from fans to be replaced by Illan Meslier in recent weeks, and although he had a couple of shaky moments on Saturday, the Whites faithful were singing his name at the full-time whistle.

Leeds captain, Cooper was also very complimentary of the keeper – claiming that Casilla’s confidence has never dropped and that clean-sheet was evidence of that.

“I’m delighted for him,” he told BBC West Yorkshire Sport.

“He’s come in for a bit of stick. He’s a confident lad and that clean sheet was for him today. He deserves it. He never changes the way he plays. He’s a great lad and we’re absolutely buzzing for him.”

Marcelo Bielsa gave Casilla a huge vote of confidence by sticking by him for the game on Saturday, and that was repaid with a vital clean-sheet and three points.

Bristol City stopper Daniel Bentley was superb at Elland Road, but for Casilla, it was more important for him to stay out of the headlines.

He has been beaten at his front post far too regularly recently, and the error against Brentford could have been the icing on the cake for him to be dropped.

Instead, he played. The biggest compliment he can receive after the 1-0 win, was that he never shied away from the action. Casilla was there when needed in possession, but in all honesty, this was the perfect game for him.

The former Real Madrid man was rarely-needed and only had to complete 16 passes at Elland Road according to WhoScored. It is important that a massive deal isn’t made of this clean-sheet though, as he needs to build on it against Reading next time out.

In other Leeds United news, Eddie Nketiah has sent a two-word Instagram message to Whites star after recent win v Robins