NEIL REDFEARN has labelled Liam Cooper as a ‘natural leader’ after showing no hesitation in handing him the captain’s armband ahead of Leeds United’s FA Cup third-round tie at Sunderland.
With Stephen Warnock and Jason Pearce sidelined, United head coach Redfearn elected to name Cooper captain, despite the defender only joining the club in the close-season and still being in the relatively early stages of his career at 23.
Redfearn felt he was vindicated in his decision with Cooper rising to the task of leading out United and providing a vocal element.
He said: ”I think Coops is maturing as a player and a natural leader. I think you can see that on the pitch and he took to the mantle well.
“He led from the back and was far more vocal and took to it. I thought it helped him.
“It is a great honour to captain any side. But to captain Leeds United is a tremendous accolade and he deserved it.”
United’s scheduled Championship home clash with leaders Bournemouth will be now be rearranged with the Cherries in FA Cup fourth-round action on the weekend of January 24-25.