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Liam Cooper shares what Leeds United's players spoke about before facing Brighton

Blackburn's Hope Akpan and Leeds' Liam Cooper in action

Leeds United beat Brighton and Hove Albion 2-0 on Saturday afternoon.

Leeds' Liam Cooper remonstrates with the assistant referee after a penalty was awarded to Aston VillaLeeds' Liam Cooper remonstrates

Leeds United defender Liam Cooper has told The Express that he and his team-mates wanted revenge over Brighton on Saturday.

The Whites had picked up two draws against Fulham and QPR, meaning that Garry Monk's men were hoping to get back to winning ways when they took second-placed Brighton and Hove Albion at Elland Road.

After a tight first half, Leeds struck the opening goal in the second period as Chris Wood headed Charlie Taylor's cross over David Stockdale and into the corner of the net.

Leeds grabbed a crucial second goal when Souleymane Doukara was fouled by Fikayo Tomori inside the penalty area, with Wood stepping up to grab his second, handing Leeds all three points.

A push for automatic promotion looks unlikely with just eight games left to play, but a play-off spot is all but clinched for Monk's men, with Leeds having a chance of returning to the Premier League.

Beating Brighton – one of the best teams in the division – is a major boost after two straight draws, and it seems that revenge played a part in Leeds' performance against the Seagulls.

Blackburn's Hope Akpan and Leeds' Liam Cooper in actionBlackburn's Hope Akpan and Leeds' Liam Cooper in action

Leeds defender Liam Cooper has told The Express that Monk's men simply wanted to win the game more, having spoken before the game about 'owing Brighton one' after being 'hurt' by a defeat against Chris Hughton's side earlier this season.

“We wanted it more in the end and the team spirit is unbelievable,” he said. “It is one of the best I have been involved in. To a man, we are there for each other and it is great to be part of. We spoke before the game and said that we owed them [Brighton] one. We got a bad result there and it hurt us and we wanted to go out and get the three points back and we did everything we could and we came away with it,” he added.

Back in December, Leeds went down to ten men away at Brighton as Kalvin Phillips was sent off for handball, with Glenn Murray scoring from the spot – and Tomer Hemed made it 2-0 with another penalty late on.

It's no surprise that Leeds were hurt by that game, and using that as their motivation to beat Brighton worked a treat, with fans no doubt hoping that they can do the same if they meet Huddersfield Town in the play-offs.

What did you think of Cooper's performance against Brighton?

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