Live from Thorp Arch: Cooper responds to question about fitness, Shackleton & Alioski training
By Mark Smith at Thorp Arch
The Leeds United Under-23s ran out comfortable winners at Thorp Arch on a freezing Monday afternoon.
And there was more good news for the loyal fans in attendance, as they got to see Pablo Hernandez and Barry Douglas play the first-half of the game. Both got through the 45 minutes without any problems.
Meanwhile, in the background, three players suffering from injuries were spotted being put through their paces.
Liam Cooper was the first and as we arrived at Thorp Arch he was already out and working on his own on the far pitch. He wasn’t doing much ball work but he looked in good condition.
When he came back he was quizzed about his fitness ahead of the Luton game and he replied, “Hopefully”.
Jamie Shackleton and Ezgjan Alioski came out midway through the first half of the game and also moved across to the far pitches to go through the motions with little ball work.
Marcelo Bielsa followed them out but came back in 15 minutes later along with one of his coaches.
Of the three players, Cooper is the one the Leeds fans want to see fit for Saturday’s game. He’s formed a really solid partnership with Ben White in the centre of defence, with Leeds conceding just nine goals in 16 league games so far.
Leeds revealed that he had suffered a small tear in his groin during the 2-1 win against Blackburn, which ruled him out of Scotland’s internationals, but they were hoping he would be fit for the game against Luton. There’s still five days left before the match on Saturday and he looks like he should be in with a good shout.
Gaetano Berardi was Cooper’s replacement against Blackburn and he played the second 45 minutes in the Under-23s game today.
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