Cooper has not featured in any of his side’s summer friendlies due to an Achilles injury but the centre-back says he has progressed over the last fortnight as Leeds approach their third consecutive season back in the country’s top flight.
The Whites sat in the division’s drop zone approaching the final day of the 2021-22 campaign but a 2-1 win at Brentford sealed the ‘great escape’ of keeping the Whites up and Cooper says his side will now benefit from the experience in their bid to kick on.
Leeds beat Cagliari in their final pre-season friendly at Elland Road on Sunday evening and writing in his matchday programme notes, Cooper said: “Personally, for myself, it was frustrating to pick up a small Achilles injury which has forced me to miss all of the matches so far in pre-season.
“It’s a tough one to take because I wanted to hit the ground running, but I feel like I’ve made progress over the past two weeks with it and I’m looking forward to getting back out on the pitch soon.”
Reflecting on the dramatic top-flight survival of last term, Cooper said: “There was a lot of relief at the end of last season as we managed to secure a third season in the Premier League.
“We had our backs against the wall for the majority of the campaign, but everyone showed great character to come through a difficult season.
“I’m sure we will all learn from the experience and we want to ensure we don’t find ourselves in that position this time around.”
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