Coventry City v Barnsley: Mowatt back in love with the game after years in the wilderness

FEW Barnsley players have embraced the challenge of a fresh start at Oakwell this season more than Alex Mowatt.

Barnsley's Alex Mowatt at full stretch with Wimbledon's Tennai Watson (Picture: Steve Ellis)

Despite still being relatively young at the age of 23, the Doncaster-born midfielder’s career appeared to be reaching a crossroads following a couple of forgettable campaigns, with the arrival of Daniel Stendel thankfully instigating a renaissance in his form and renewed sense of well-being.

So much so that the rejuvenated former Leeds United player has rapidly emerged as one of the Reds’ leading lights this term following a strong start to 
2018-19, with his happiness after a few years in the wilderness being self-evident.

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Mowatt, whose blossoming midfield partnership with Kenny Dougall is likely to be restored today after the latter’s return from international commitments, said: “I think it is my most enjoyable spell in football for something like three years.

“Every day, I come into training happy and looking forward to the games as well.

“It is a fresh start for everyone with a new manager and everyone is pushing for promotion this year. With the way we have started and the momentum, hopefully we can carry it on.”

Barnsley take their unbeaten league start to the season – and best for 72 years – to Coventry this afternoon, with the Midlands city having proved a graveyard for the Reds over the years, whether it be at the Rioch Arena, the Sky Blues’ former Highland Road home or one-time temporary base of Sixfields in Northampton.

All told, the Reds have not triumphed at the home of a Coventry side since 1923, with their barren run encompassing 23 visits, which have featured 17 defeats.

Barnsley's Alex Mowatt. (Picture: Tony Johnson)