Liam Cooper outlines early season Leeds United target and key reason for hope before Wolves game
Whites captain Liam Cooper has outlined a particularly important early season Leeds United target and cited a key reason for optimism within Jesse Marsch's side.
Eleven weeks later, Cooper has highlighted United's determination to avoid a late scramble for points in a relegation battle and the importance of being in a good position by the time the season breaks off in November for the 2022 World Cup.
Leeds have 16 games until the six-week break for Qatar 2022, the pause to United's campaign arriving after the away trip to Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday, November 12.
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The Whites will then return to action at Manchester City on Boxing Day.
"Today it's vitally important we get off to a good start in the campaign," wrote Cooper in his matchday programme notes.
"As a group we want to get as many points on the board ahead of the World Cup in November, as we learnt last season how tough it can be if you don't.
"The atmosphere has been great and we're all into this game with a lot of confidence and belief."
Cooper also believes his side will now be able to truly implement American coach Marsch's style of football given a clean slate of a new campaign.
Marsch was appointed at the end of February after promotion-winning boss Marcelo Bielsa was sacked with Leeds hovering dangerously above the drop zone.
Cooper reasoned: "As Jesse has emphasised, we know this is a process and as a group we know we have a lot to improve on.
"Over the past few years, all of the players have strived to get better and this season will be no different.
"When we came in last year, we had to solely focus on scrapping for every point possible and sacrificed the style of football to do so.
"Against Cagliari, and in the other pre-season games, I think you've seen glimpses of how Jesse wants us to play and we will only get better at this going forwards."