Leeds boss explains why Giuseppe Bellusci didn't play, comments on Cooper's performance

Uwe Rosler

The Leeds coach discussed his centre-back partnership.

Leeds United boss Uwe Rosler has explained that Giuseppe Bellusci was not dropped against Reading but rather rested as Liam Cooper was recovering better after the Capital One Cup defeat to Doncaster Rovers, according to BBC Radio Leeds.

And the German was delighted with Cooper's eventual performance in place of the Italian, whose absence would have confused many considering his stellar showing in midweek.

Indeed, the Leeds boss praised the 23-year-old, as well as the organisation of United's defence as a whole.

Rosler told BBC Radio Leeds: "Pepe didn't get dropped. I felt Liam was recovering quicker. We have to share the minutes out.

"It was the right decision to play him. He got more and more comfortable. He played very well today. Our defence and our organisation was spot on."

 V Reading TacklesInterceptionsHeadersClearancesMinutes Played
Liam Cooper 3 2 3 4 90
Gaetano Berardi 2 3 4 1 90
Charlie Taylor 2 1 0 5 90
Sol Bamba 2 2 9 5 90

As Opta stats show, starting Cooper against Reading certainly didn't do Rosler and his side any harm.

The 23-year-old has often received criticism from Leeds fans but he has an existing partnership with Sol Bamba and it showed against the Royals.

No goals conceded is the most important stat, of course, but Cooper also won more tackles than any of his team-mates, made two interceptions, four clearances and won three headers.

Bamba unsurprisingly led the way in the air but the boss was clearly pleased with his whole defence, with the full-backs also enjoying a fine outing.

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