This weekend represents a chance for Leeds United defender Liam Cooper to play alongside the man he was brought in to replace against Charlton; Jason Pearce.
Giuseppe Bellusci’s suspension means the pair are likely to be thrown together for the game against Blackpool and it’s a great opportunity for them to show Neil Redfearn why they should be the first choice centre back pairing at Elland Road.
One of the areas Cooper excelled against Charlton was aerially, which is also one of Pearce’s key strengths.
That suggests that they can make Leeds a very difficult side to hit over the top or to attack from set pieces, because they are both effective in terms clearing danger from long balls.
It’s a classic partnership between the side’s captain and a youngster who was extremely impressive during the game against Charlton, even though Leeds conceded two goals when they were the team on top for most of the game.
Pearce and Cooper are both very passionate about the club and that can create knock on benefits with other players.
In short, they both love defending for Leeds and though they will face more potent attacks than Blackpool, they can set the example by getting stuck in whether that’s with a heavy challenge or just the way they carry themselves at the back of the team.
Passion can lead to plays raising their performance levels and that can create positive results.
Another option Redfearn may consider is bring Tommaso Bianchi into the back four in Bellusci’s absence. However, there’s little point when he’s played in front of the back four for most of the season and when Cooper is in form.
Cooper is a player Redfearn said he was impressed with from the game earlier this week so it’s more than likely he’ll stay in the side, making it difficult for Bellusci to get back into the team after his suspension.
Pearce and Cooper has to be the way forward and they have a chance to prove why this weekend.