Leeds United: Monk has no concerns about the fitness of Cooper

Liam Cooper and Garry Monk.
Liam Cooper and Garry Monk.
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LEEDS United head coach Garry Monk has no concerns with the fitness of Liam Cooper as the defender prepares to return from a six-match ban at Wigan Athletic on Sunday.

Cooper was hit with a six-match suspension for stamping on Reading’s Reece Oxford during the 1-0 loss on April 1 and returns at a time when another of United’s centre-backs, Pontus Jansson, begins his own three-match ban.

Jansson has been hit with a three-match suspension for picking up his 15th yellow card of the season in last weekend’s 3-3 draw with Norwich City at Elland Road. Cooper therefore looks likely to start unless Monk opts to play right-back Luke Ayling at centre-back and the head coach is positive Cooper will be in good shape.

“We always have a plan,” said Monk, whose men are set to finish the season in seventh. “The players are pushed very hard physically, ones that play a lot of games, ones that maybe not play so many, ones that are out of the squad.

“The whole group follows certain physical programmes to make sure that we give them the best opportunity when they are called upon to go to perform.

“Of course, matches are most important but we always put in the work physically with a method of trying to give them the best possibility. So physically there is no problems with any of the players.”