Leeds United's Liam Cooper is happy with Elland Road progress

LIAM COOPER believes the big strides taken by Leeds United in recent weeks was underlined by their refusal to bow to late pressure from Aston Villa in Friday night's draw.

Leeds United's Liam Cooper heads home against Aston Villa but the 'goal' was ruled out for offside.
Leeds United's Liam Cooper heads home against Aston Villa but the 'goal' was ruled out for offside.

Henri Lansbury cancelling out Pontus Jansson’s opener put Steve Bruce’s men firmly in the ascendancy with 19 minutes remaining on the clock in their Championship encounter.

Many of the neutrals watching on TV might have expected United to buckle but, instead, they dug deep to ensure a precious point was claimed.

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“There was definitely a sense of deflation there after the final whistle,” said Cooper, who had a ‘goal’ chalked off at 1-0 when the linesman rightly raised his flag for offside.

“I felt we were the better team for a long duration of the game. We all know there will be times in games when the opposition get on top but I felt we handled it well.

“The goal was a little bit lucky on their part. It was a good tackle (by Pontus) in the middle of the park but the ball fell to their lad (Lansbury).

“It hit the post and went in, which is why we felt a bit deflated.

“But, two or three weeks ago, that was probably a game we would have lost so we can be pleased about having come a long way in that time.

“Seven points from the last 12 is good form and we have to keep it going.”

The recent upturn in results has started to repair the damage inflicted by a truly rotten run that, at one stage, saw Thomas Christiansen’s men lose seven of nine league outings.

Leeds are once again within touching distance of the play-offs heading into a run of five games against teams in the lower echelons of the table before the end of the year.

Cooper added: “I feel we have clicked in the last few games and are starting games with a good tempo.”