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Alex Mowatt previews Yorkshire Derby

15 July 2020

Heading into Thursday’s Yorkshire Derby with Leeds United, Alex Mowatt says Barnsley relish going up against the Sky Bet Championship’s top performers.

The Reds have looked impressive this term when facing those pushing for promotion, taking six points off Fulham and holding West Bromwich Albion on two occasions.

Even though the final three fixtures of the campaign are against teams near the summit, Mowatt is confident of his side’s chances of causing an upset and pulling off the great escape.

“We’ve got the toughest run-in on paper,” began the Reds’ skipper, “but we seem to have performed well in games against the so-called better clubs, the bigger sides, so hopefully that’s the case starting on Thursday.

“We think staying up this year would be a bigger achievement than actually getting here, considering everything. But we need to get a move on, start taking our chances.”

Barnsley head into the clash at Elland Road on the back of consecutive draws against Luton Town and Wigan Athletic – games that, in hindsight, should have ended in victory, had chances been converted.

But there were promising signs in both stalemates to suggest that the Reds have enough about them to pick up the necessary points required to ensure their safety this term.

“I wouldn’t say we lack bravery,” asserted Mowatt. “I think we’re creating chances still. But we need to start putting them away.

“We should have beaten Luton and Wigan, in my opinion – we deserved to on the balance of play. But if you are wasteful in front of goal, you don’t get rewarded.”

Having come through United’s ranks, Mowatt knows all too well what it means to represent the White side of the divide.

His former club are on the brink of clinching promotion to the Premier League and ending a 16-year exile from England’s top flight. But he is focussed on the task at hand, insisting Barnsley will not be making up the numbers on Thursday evening.

“It’s a big Yorkshire derby, we respect Leeds; they’re top of the league,” continued Mowatt. “But we’re going there for three points.

“This is my club though. My only focus is on us and keeping us in the Championship. I’ve been here three years and I know what survival means for our club.

“We’re a young side, we’re fit and with our high-press we hope to catch Leeds out. The belief is still there in our side. We’ve had positive results since the restart, it’s not like we’ve struggled in the last six games.

“It’s not over, and I can’t wait to go to Elland Road and get that result for us.”

You can watch Alex' pre-match interview on iFollow Barnsley.

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