Leeds United captain Liam Cooper says 'only one team was going to score' during Elland Road tussle with Middlesbrough

Liam Cooper and Ryan Shotton challenge for a high ball.Leeds United v Middlesborough
Liam Cooper and Ryan Shotton challenge for a high ball.Leeds United v Middlesborough

Leeds United captain Liam Cooper believes "only one team was going to score in the second half" in Friday night's stalemate with Middlesbrough - however did praise Tony Pulis' side.

The Championship's top two were unable to be separated at Elland Road to maintain their unbeaten starts to the season and take their points tally to 14 points, though Cooper says the pair have two "different styles".

Boro impressively haven't conceded a league goal since coming from 2-0 down away at Millwall on the opening day of the season - five games ago - and it was no surprise to see Pulis' men soak up the pressure at Marcelo Bielsa's recently revived side.

Pulis' style drew Cooper into stating that Leeds always looked the most likely to score, particularly in the second-half, against what he suggested was a typical Pulis team.

“I think we have got to be prepared for a lot of teams to come to Elland Road and play like that this year,” said Cooper.

“It was two different teams and two different styles, two good teams but I think there was only one team that was going to score in the second half and it felt like it was going to be us.

“We know Middlesbrough are a real threat from set plays but to a man we defended well, first ball, second balls.

“We knew it was going to be one of them games. Everyone knows a Tony Pulis team – they are strong and resolute but I think we did well."

Cooper continued to praise Boro - believing they will always be a tough team to defeat.

He added: “I think they are always going to pick points up."

“They have come with a good game plan and we just haven’t been able to get in the final third and get a good chance and put it away.

“But if you are not going to win games we can’t lose them and I thought to a man we all performed very well and we dug in when we really hard to.

“Maybe last year we would have gone under a bit there and been a bit sloppy from a set play but I thought everyone was bang on it.”