Leeds United captain Liam Cooper has heaped praise on Jamie Shackleton, ahead of the Championship play-off semi-final second leg against Derby County.
Shackleton replaced the injured Adam Forshaw during the first leg at Pride Park on Saturday evening and produced an acomplished display in midfield, despite having made just three league starts for the Whites all season.
The 19-year-old has established himself in the first-team this season and has made 23 appearances for Leeds in all competitions.
Cooper was speaking to the media alongside head coach Marcelo Bielsa at a press conference ahead of the second leg against Derby at Elland Road and admitted that he has been impressed with the youngster’s attitude.
“Yeah, he’s an amazing young man, down to earth, just wants to come in every day with a smile on his face and work hard,” said Cooper, as quoted by Leeds Live.
“He deserves to be in the team, he deserves to play well because we see how hard he trains everyday. I thought he was a different class on Saturday.
“Hopefully for him, he stays in the team, but if he doesn’t, he’ll still be the same boy.”
Leeds ended a run of four games without a win against Derby at the weekend and will go into the second leg of their semi-final with a 1-0 advantage, thanks to top scorer Kemar Roofe’s 15th goal of the season.
I thought Shackleton played very well off the bench against Derby at the weekend and coped extremely well with the pressure of playing in such an important game.
With Forshaw set to miss the game through injury, it will be interesting to see whether Bielsa decides to start Shackleton for the second leg against the Rams.