Liam Cooper opens up over Marcelo Bielsa and Leeds United's growing set play problem

Leeds United captain Liam Cooper says his sides set-piece issues are "hard" to see but insists the Whites problems aren't from a lack of training.

Sunday, 29th September 2019, 1:00 pm
Charlton Athletic open the scoring at The Valley.

United once again conceded from a set play on Saturday afternoon as they fell to a 1-0 defeat at The Valley to Lee Bowyer's Charlton Athletic.

The Whites boast the strongest defensive record in the Championship so far this season having conceded just five goals in nine games, but three of those have come from dead ball situations.

Macauley Bonne's 32nd minute opener from a Josh Cullen corner again proved United's downfall as they fell to their second defeat of the league campaign in the capital.

Cooper, though, is at a loss to explain the growing issue but did concede that Marcelo Bielsa's men have "got to be better" in their defensive approach.

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"It's not from a lack of training it," Cooper said.

"We train it every day. Every single day we'll train set plays and if you don't win the first contact you have to win the second. It's our Achilles heel at the minute.

"We need to knock that out of ourselves. It's not good enough and we'll be looking to put it right. It's the only way at the minute that teams are hurting us.

"It's hard as a defender to see that. We've got to be better."

United's woes also continued again in front of goal with Bielsa seeing his side fail to find the back of the bet from 19 attempts on goal against the Addicks.

Leeds have failed to make their dominance of the ball count so far this campaign with a lack of cutting edge in the final third proving a problem.

The Whites skipper, though, is staying positive in the belief that he and his teammates will come good as the season goes on.

"We aren't getting any of the rub of the green at the minute," Cooper continued.

"We've not getting a bounce off the shin or the knee and it go in. Over the course of the season it'll even itself out but when Charlton go 1-0 up it gives them something to hold onto.

"They can shut up shop. They can be ugly and slow the game down and they did that.

"But we've still had enough chances to win the game and that's what is bitterly disappointing and conceding from a set play.

"This won't define our season. The manager has told us to stay positive. The luck will change eventually and we've got to go on a run.

"We've got to put this behind us. We've got a great game to go and do that on Tuesday (against West Brom)."