Leeds United are starting to slide down the Championship table just at the wrong time following Tuesday night’s defeat at Brentford, with five points separating the Gary Monk’s men in fifth and Fulham in seventh. The defeat followed on from Saturday’s loss to playoff rivals Reading.
Monk suffered another huge blow on Wednesday with the news defender Liam Cooper will not play again this season, unless Leeds reach the playoffs.
Cooper was charged with violent conduct following a stamp on Reading’s Reece Oxford in Saturday’s defeat at the Madejski Stadium, which was missed at the time by referee Keith Stroud but was later reviewed by video.
The stamp follows a similar incident involving Bournemouth’s Tyrone Mings and Manchester United’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic, which resulted in the defender receiving a five-match ban for a stamp on the head of the Swede.
The FA statement read: “Leeds United’s Liam Cooper will serve a six-match suspension with immediate effect, following an Independent Regulatory Commission hearing.
“The defender was charged with violent conduct in relation to an incident in or around the 74th minute of the game against Reading on Saturday [1 April 2017] which was not seen by the match officials at the time but caught on video.
“Furthermore, The FA claimed that the standard punishment which would otherwise apply for the misconduct committed would be ‘clearly insufficient’.
“The player accepted the charge but denied the claim. However, that matter was found proven and his total suspension of six matches includes the standard one additional match for it being his second dismissal of this season.”
Leeds are enjoying a revival under former Swansea boss Garry Monk this season after appearing to put the difficulties regarding owner Massimo Cellino behind them and are looking to return to the Premier League for the first time since relegation in 2004.
Monk will be hoping they can get back to winning ways soon and that the loss of Cooper will not dramatically affect his side. They host in-form Preston on Saturday.
Damien McEvoy Pundit Arena
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