Huddersfield v Leeds United: Cooper’s been fantastic for Whites – Ritchie

Liam Cooper.

Liam Cooper.

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FORMER Whites forward Andy Ritchie says young skipper Liam Cooper has adapted to life at Leeds United like a “duck to water” ahead of this weekend’s derby at Huddersfield Town.

Ritchie has been concerned about the departures of experienced Whites defenders Stephen Warnock and Jason Pearce, admitting in his YEP column today that their exits to Derby County and Wigan respectively left him “nonplussed”.

Pearce’s switch puts the pressure on new recruit Sol Bamba excelling at Huddersfield on Saturday in light of Giuseppe Bellusci’s suspension but Ritchie is at least grateful for the steadying influence of rising star Cooper.

The 23-year-old only arrived from League One outfit Chesterfield in the summer but has quickly become captain and Ritchie said: “I think Liam Cooper has done great, I really do.

“Coming in from Chesterfield I think he has taken to it duck to water style and I think he has been fantastic.

“He’s played left-back as well as left sided centre-back and he’s still learning obviously but it looks as though he has got the know-how and the nous to deal with it quickly.”

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