Simon Grayson comments on Liam Cooper's Leeds display

The Captains armband on Liam Cooper of Leeds United during the Sky Bet Championship match between Sheffield Wednesday v Leeds United at Hillsborough Stadium on September 28, 2018 in...

Liam Cooper struggled for Leeds United at Elland Road tonight.

Richard Keogh of Derby County reacts with Liam Cooper and Stuart Dallas of Leeds United during the Sky Bet Championship Play-Off Semi Final First Leg match at Pride Park Stadium on May 11,...

Simon Grayson has intimated to talkSPORT that Liam Cooper struggled under the pressure of leading Leeds United into the playoff final.

Marcelo Bielsa's side surrendered a 1-0 first-leg advantage and lost 4-2 to Derby County on the night at Elland Road this evening.

The Leeds captain looked shaky throughout and was involved in a mix-up with goalkeeper Kiko Casilla on stroke of half time which led to Frank Lampard's side equalising on the night and reducing the aggregate deficit to 2-1.

Cooper also conceded the penalty which saw Derby move 3-1 ahead after 58 minutes, and former United boss Grayson believes that the 27-year-old defender, who's been brilliant for the most part this season, buckled under the expectation.

 

He told talkSPORT: "It's amazing what playoff situations can do to players. Liam Cooper has been outstanding all season and yet made a couple of errors. Leeds were on the back foot then."

It isn't the first time that Leeds have completely orchestrated their own downfall this season.

They had automatic promotion in their own hands with four Championship games left, but a disastrous Easter period saw Bielsa's side throw it away and consign themselves to the playoffs.

Derby will face Aston Villa in the final on May 27.

Liam Cooper of Leeds United and Richard Keogh of Derby County battle  during the SkyBet Championship playoff semi final match between Derby County and Leeds United at the Pride Park, Derby...

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