Leeds United v QPR: Marcelo Bielsa to let players choose Whites captain in absence of Liam Cooper

LEADING FROM THE FRONT: Pablo Hernandez took the Leeds United captain's arm-band from the injured Liam Cooper in last weekend's 1-0 win at Sheffield United. Picture by Simon Hulme.
LEADING FROM THE FRONT: Pablo Hernandez took the Leeds United captain's arm-band from the injured Liam Cooper in last weekend's 1-0 win at Sheffield United. Picture by Simon Hulme.
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HEAD COACH Marcelo Bielsa will let his players decide who will wear the captain's armband in the absence of injured skipper Liam Cooper with Pablo Hernandez in pole position after his duties at Bramall Lane.

Whites club captain Cooper is facing around six weeks out having undergone surgery on a knee problem with the skipper's armband handed to Hernandez after the injured Cooper had to be substituted in the first half of last weekend's 1-0 win at Sheffield United.

Hernandez then handed the captaincy to Stuart Dallas once the Spaniard was taken off in the 89th minute but Dallas too will now be sidelined for between four and six weeks with a fractured foot and two other Whites players to have regularly filled in for the captaincy in Luke Ayling and Gaetano Berardi are also injured.

Asked how important the role of captain was and who would wear the armband against QPR, Bielsa said: "I never designate the captain. I never choose the captain.

"My point of view is the captain represents his team-mates. The natural thing to do is the captain has to be chosen by his team-mates. You also have habits, your captain is usually the one who has been in the club for many years, but from my point of view, the players have to choose their captain."

Of the players still available to Bielsa, Hernandez is the only other one to have worn the Whites captain's armband but Kalvin Phillips is now United's most experienced fit and available player in terms of appearances for Leeds having made 117 appearances for the Whites.