Leeds boss has made decision between Bellusci and Cooper

Uwe Rosler

Leeds head coach Uwe Rosler says he has chosen who will partner Sol Bamba for the time being.

Leeds United head coach Uwe Rosler says he has made a decision regarding his first choice centre-back partnership.

Speaking to BBC Radio Leeds, he indicated this weekend it will be Liam Cooper starting alongside captain Sol Bamba, who he regards as undroppable. 

Early this season Rosler has rotated Cooper with Giuseppe Bellusci, who has made three starts, with neither player yet staking a truly convincing claim.

Rosler said: "I said to all my defenders, Sol Bamba is my captain, my set player in the defence. Scott Wootton, Pep (Giuseppe Bellusci) and Liam (Cooper) are competing for spot next to him.

"For the moment the way I like to play and performances have shown, Liam Cooper is a notch ahead of Pep."

Rosler added that one of the reasons he prefers Cooper alongside Bamba is that the side then have a left-footed and right-footed centre-back, with gives the side greater balance.

His attention to detail described the improved distribution the combination should have, even discussing the angles of passes which can be played from centre-back to full-back.

He did suggest a reason why he has not been entirely trusting of Cooper just yet, explaining that just two seasons ago he was playing League Two football, and that his rapid rise has been a 'massive step'.

Cooper has largely risen to the challenge, even handed the captain's armband by Neil Redfearn last season, although this has since being given to the more experienced Bamba.

Rosler went onto add that nobody's position would truly be safe in the future, with additions planned for the squad over the coming seasons.

He said: "Every player from Leeds United has to get used to more competition. Cellino and myself, we want to improve quality of squad year by year. Every player has to get used. Some people thrive on competition and get better and better, and some struggle, but that is the nature of professional football."

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