Leeds United: Banned defender Cooper misses Brentford clash

Liam Cooper
Liam Cooper
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Leeds United defender Liam Cooper has been ruled out of tonight’s at Brentford after pleading guilty to stamping on Reece Oxford in Saturday’s 1-0 defeat to Reading.

Cooper admitted a Football Association charge of violent conduct after being cited over a second half incident at the Madejski Stadium.

Reece Oxford lays on the ground after his clash with Liam Cooper.

Reece Oxford lays on the ground after his clash with Liam Cooper.

The centre-back caught Oxford in the face with a boot as the defender lay on the ground on the edge of his own box following a Leeds corner on 74 minutes.

Cooper went unpunished by referee Keith Stroud, who spoke with one of his assistants and took no action, but video evidence was referred to the FA’s disciplinary department and the governing body confirmed today that it had charged the 25-year-old with violent conduct.

Cooper, who had been preparing with Garry Monk’s players for this evening’s Championship match at Griffin Park, has since pleaded guilty to the allegations against him, forcing Monk to omit him from his squad.

Neither the FA nor Leeds have confirmed the length of Cooper’s suspension but he is expected to miss at least four matches.

Royals players crowd referee Keith Stroud after Reece Oxford's clash with United's Liam Cooper.

Royals players crowd referee Keith Stroud after Reece Oxford's clash with United's Liam Cooper.

Standard charges of violent conduct carry a three-game suspension but a statement from the FA said the normal punishment was “clearly insufficient” for Cooper’s offence.

The statement read: “Liam Cooper has been charged with alleged violent conduct following the Leeds United versus Reading game on Saturday.

“The player was involved in an incident in or around the 74th minute which was not seen by the match officials at the time but caught on video.

“Furthermore, the FA has submitted a claim that the standard punishment that would otherwise apply for the misconduct committed by the Leeds defender is ‘clearly insufficient’.”

Bournemouth full-back Tyrone Mings was suspended for five games last month for a stamp on Manchester United’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Leeds have seven matches of the regular Championship season remaining.

Monk spoke out in defence of Cooper after the Reading defeat, saying: “I didn’t see it but I got told about it afterwards. You know as well as me that Liam’s 100 per cent not that type of lad. He’s not in any way that type of player.

“With my opinion of Liam, it’ll definitely be an accident and one that he didn’t mean to do. He’s 100 per cent not like that.”

The FA, meanwhile, has chosen not to charge Reading defender Tyler Blackett over an alleged elbow on Chris Wood in the first half of Saturday’s game.

Television footage showed Blackett striking Wood in the face as they tussled for the ball in Reading’s half but the FA ruled that Blackett had no case to answer.

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