Former Scotland defender Christophe Berra believes players like Leeds United captain Liam Cooper deserve ‘respect’ as he backs ex-teammate John Souttar for a Scots recall.

The Hearts centre-back has three caps for Scotland but the likes of Grant Hanley have emerged in front of him as ACL injuries have held him back. Leeds United captain Cooper has also featured regularly for head coach Steve Clarke but his performance in the 2-0 defeat to Denmark last week came under fire, dropped for the next two games.

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The Leeds United defender was lamented. (Photo by MADS CLAUS RASMUSSEN/Ritzau Scanpix/AFP via Getty Images)

Berra – who earned 41 caps for his country and played 96 times at Premier League level – says plays like Cooper and Hanley need admiration as he backs Souttar for a call (DR): “Lots of people wrote off Hanley, thought he was rubbish, but he was one of Scotland’s best players at the Euros. Liam Cooper is playing in an exciting Leeds United side.

“Step back and respect those players. I’m not saying they’re better but they are playing at a really high level, against top international strikers every week.

 

“Going down for a season, facing physically stronger strikers, technically very good players who are quicker and smarter, can make a difference. John must be so mentally tough to come back from not just one big injury but three. If he plays this season or two, he can get a big move to England. Ability isn’t in doubt. We just hope he’s injury-free.”

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