Alex Mowatt was on the bench for Leeds United the last time they lost to Barnsley and hopes the Reds can inflict another famous victory on their bitter Yorkshire rivals tomorrow night.
The midfielder, 25, watched from the dugout as Paul Heckingbottom’s Reds won 3-2 in January 2017, a matter of days before the Leeds academy product moved to Oakwell. Barnsley are now in a relegation fight while their hosts in the 5pm game are hoping to secure automatic promotion to the Premier League.
Reds captain Mowatt told the Chronicle: “I was on the bench and it was a really good, high-intensity game. It is one that the fans still speak about because it was such a big win. Hopefully, on Thursday, we can do something similar and get the same result.
“Conor Hourihane scored a really good free-kick. Maybe one of us might have to do something special like that on Thursday. In the first game against them this season (a 2-0 home loss at Oakwell in September) we had quite a few chances but didn’t take them so hopefully we are more clinical. If I am further forward against Leeds then hopefully I can get a goal.”
Mowatt is hoping the Reds can shock Leeds, Nottingham Forest and Brentford in their last three games. He said: “We probably have the toughest tun in on paper but, this season, we have always performed better against bigger opponents. A few of the lads have mentioned the Fulham and West Brom games.
“I have said to the lads that staying up this season will be a bigger achievement than getting promoted. We only have a few players who have played in the Championship before and we had lots of new players. We have done well since the re-start. I don’t know how we have not won the last two (draws against Luton Town and Wigan Athletic), we deserved to win but we didn’t put away our chances.”
Mowatt played 125 games for Leeds before moving to Barnsley for whom he is set to make his 100th league start tomorrow.
“They are top but we want to go there and pick up three points. I would like to show people what I can do. But I am just concentrating on Barnsley, I have been there for more than three years now. “It won’t be the usual feeling at Elland Road because there are no fans. I think it will be strange because I played there for a few years but I will enjoy it.
“I don’t think it will be an advantage that the stadium is empty. The fans expect a lot from the players there and, in my time there, they would let you know about it if they don’t like the way you are playing. We are different to a lot of teams who sit off Leeds because we are a young team and we’ll press. Hopefully they won’t have much time on the ball and they won’t create many chances.”
Wigan have been docked 12 points for going into administration, moving them into the relegation battle from mid-table, while Sheffield Wednesday could also face a deduction for breaches of the financial fair play rules. Mowatt said: “We just need to get as many points as we can and see what happens with all the points deduction. We need to make sure that, if they happen, we’re the ones who benefit.”
Mowatt has played with a series of different midfield partners this season, while being used on the side, tip or base of a midfield diamond as well as his preferred central role in a 4-4-2. He told the Chronicle: “Everyone is different. Sometimes you get a partnership and you really like it and you complement each other really well. So when it chops and changes all the time it is a little bit difficult. My role has changed, sometimes I have been sitting in front of the back four. It has been a challenge but I have enjoyed it as well, especially when I get to go forward.”