Leeds United are a top-six side, insists Liam Cooper

Leeds United defender Liam Cooper is eyeing promotion to the Premier League.

Cooper made his second consecutive start of the season on Saturday, scoring the opening goal in the 3-1 victory at home to Blackpool.

Having stepped into the void left by the suspended Jason Pearce in the 2-2 draw with Charlton, the Scottish youth international kept his place in the Whites first-team to replace Giuseppe Bellusci, himself suspended for the Blackpool game, and his impressive performances in his two starts have called for his inclusion in the starting XI when the Championship returns after the international break.

After the victory against bottom-club Blackpool, Leeds sit 15th in the Championship, eight points off the play-offs and just four off the relegation places. However, head coach Neil Redfearn guided the club to their first victory in nine games, and, if he can have the same winning impact as he did during his caretaker spell at Elland Road, the Yorkshire-based club are only ever going to move up the table.

With the closeness of the Championship - the top nine clubs are separated by just five points - a short run of positive results can move you into play-off contention, and, with the morale boost that gives you, a gap can start forming at the top of the table if six or seven games are won in a row.

Leeds look far off winning such a run of consecutive games, but the performance against Blackpool was undoubtedly their best of the season, and Cooper has admitted that the playing squad are all targeting a top-six finish, believing they have the quality to achieve it.

Speaking to the Yorkshire Post, 23-year-old Cooper said: “I think if you ask anybody in the team – the staff, the players – we know we are a top-six side and we have the quality in the side to be that.

“We have just got to put the results together and if you go three, four or five games on the bounce with wins, you are straight back up there.

“That is what we are aiming for and, hopefully, we can do that.”

Leeds will be looking to increase their hopes of a play-off place when the Championship resumes after the international break, with a win against fellow promotion chasers Blackburn potentially moving them to within five points of sixth place.

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