It is a great exercise, counting out loud, or even being aware of counting and the sub-divisions involved.... improve playing no end.
Getting to feel what you play is the objective and the best way to feel your playing is to understand it.
You may struggle with tempos at first, but playing slow still requires you to play in tempo, so play them slow then gradually speed them up.
Break down sections and learn the syncopation, then piece it back together and put it in a tempo,it does not need to be the correct tempo, but a tempo you can handle and work yourself towards the correct tempo.
Check out this link, it develops the same idea between tempo, technique, practice and playing.