Scotland Call-Up For Leeds Skipper Liam Cooper

25 September 2017, 14:13

Footballer

Leeds captain Liam Cooper has been called into the Scotland squad for the World Cup double header against Slovakia and Slovenia.

The uncapped defender has been included in his second squad after first joining Gordon Strachan's pool in March.

Cooper is in for Russell Martin, who has not featured for Norwich since 4-0 defeat by Millwall on August 26.

Another Norwich player, Steven Naismith, and Fulham midfielder Tom Cairney have also dropped out.

James Morrison retains his place after his late call-up for wins over Lithuania and Malta this month, while his West Brom team-mate, Darren Fletcher, and Sheffield Wednesday striker Steven Fletcher are both included after withdrawing through injury last time.

Cooper will provide competition and cover for Charlie Mulgrew and Christophe Berra after the 26-year-old helped Leeds to the top of the Sky Bet Championship after nine matches.

The other centre-back in the squad, Grant Hanley, has only played four minutes of football for Norwich since replacing the injured Mulgrew during the 2-0 win over Malta on September 4.

On Cooper, who represented Scotland at youth level, Strachan said: "He's playing well. He's playing in a winning side and he is a big influence on the side, he is the captain now. That's big progress for Leeds, which is good, and himself.

"I probably should have had him in the last squad to be honest but I made sure I didn't make the same mistake again. Because of his performances, he is back in the squad. He has been highly-rated by my scouting staff and myself over the past couple of months.

"It's always good that the players come here on a high, and hopefully most of them are on a high.

"Some are not at the top of their game but they can still bring things to the squad."