Stoke City v Leeds United: An arrogant mentality can help Whites thrive says skipper Liam Cooper

CAPTAIN Liam Cooper believes an "arrogance" within his table-topping Leeds United side could help his side's quest to finally seal promotion to the Premier League at a "massive club that expects success."

Friday, 18th January 2019, 5:09 pm
Updated Friday, 18th January 2019, 5:14 pm
TOP FORM: Captain Liam Cooper, right, celebrates with the rest of his team mates following Jack Harrison's strike in last weekend's 2-0 win at home to Derby County.

Cooper's Whites head for their latest Championship assignment at Stoke City on Saturday with Leeds top of the division and holding a four-point cushion back to third.

The Whites captain is keen to stress that with 19 games still remaining his men are still yet to face "crunch time" but the centre-back admits confidence is quite rightly brimming at a side who are looking at their best chance yet of finally ending a 15-year exile from the country's top flight.

Cooper reasoned: "I think you have got to have that winning mentality about you and that arrogance about you sometimes and we go on to that pitch knowing we can beat any team if we are at it and that's the big ask.

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"Staying motivated and staying at them high intensity levels we know we reach, when we do that we are hard to beat and we will beat anybody in the league but it's reaching them levels and hopefully we can carry that on for the rest of the season.

"Being at Leeds United is a pressure in itself. It's a massive club that expects success.

"We haven't managed to give the fans and the club anything to shout about over the last few years but we are certainly heading in the right direction.

"But there's a long whole way to go, it's a tough grueling season and we are coming into crunch time of the season now and hopefully we can knuckle down and keep giving performances like we know we are capable of and see where that takes us.

"There's a mini season going on now, the last 19 games is a hell of a lot of games and there's plenty of points up for grabs."

Whites head coach Bielsa has already named his side for Saturday's clash at the Bet365 Stadium with Bielsa set to field the same XI that started last weekend's hugely impressive 2-0 victory at home to Derby County.

"I think obviously the players who were in the team made it hard for him to bring anyone out of the team," said Cooper.

"All the lads came through unscathed, no injuries so we have proved we can dominate teams and we did that against a very good Derby team.

"It was a pleasure to play in but there is still a very long way to go and hopefully we can keep reaching them levels."