West Brom midfielder Alex Mowatt returned to the club in the summer without knowing what was in store for him, but he is relishing the opportunity. Alex Mowatt is looking forward to maintaining his recent good form in a derby-like setting when West Brom travel to Birmingham City on Friday night. Midfielder Mowatt has completely reinvented his Albion career in the space of a fortnight, seizing the starting XI opportunity provided by Carlos Corberan.
Mowatt, who spent last season on loan at Middlesbrough, has delivered strong reminders of his skill and importance to this team in performances against Millwall, Preston, and Sheffield Wednesday. Indeed,
He is suddenly undroppable, having spent the first few weeks of the season settling for cameos to pass the time.
From his midfield vantage position, the Leeds United academy product has been a key part of Albion’s recent upturn in form, and he is looking forward to the encounter with equally revitalized Blues as Albion seek their third victory in seven days.
“Birmingham are doing well as well, I think it’ll be a good game, going into the international break and on a Friday night too, it’s exciting,” he stated. “I wouldn’t say the preparation is different; I think the games are always different [in derbies], with a lot more energy and tackles and stuff like that, and obviously the crowd.”
“I’ve had some good ones, Leeds – Sheff Wednesday, Barnsley – Sheff Wed, Barnsley – Sheff United, there’s been some bad ones as well and then here I had a Birmingham game, some good and bad ones, hopefully tomorrow’s a good one. This is probably the game they [fans] look forward to the most, both teams are doing well at the moment, so it’ll be a good game.”
Albion sit in fifth, only a point above Blues but, remarkably, seven places above them as the Championship table slowly begins to take shape. It’s a world away from their prospects 12 months ago, when they found themselves slipping towards the base of the table under the soon-to-be-outgoing Steve Bruce.
Indeed it’s been a heartening ‘block’, in between international breaks. Albion have, prior to this final game before the next break, returned nine points, four clean sheets and are unbeaten but, having suffered defeat in their final game before the end of the September block, Mowatt is keen to avoid a similar sign off.
“It’s been a good start, but if we hadn’t got these two wins we’d say it wasn’t a good start – so that’s how quick it can change,” he said. “It was the same at Boro last season, we got a new manager and made the play-offs, it’s better to have a good start so you haven’t got as much chasing to do. We want to stay in and around it and just keep competing in every game. Especially a derby game, you want to go and be happy in the days after it, and a win would do that.”
Corberan has, recently, showered praise on ‘special guy’ Mowatt, who has offered him a genuine alternative option in the middle of the pitch having last season been so dependent on the form and
pair’s fitness levels Yokuslu and Jayson Molumby, please proceed. He now has the opportunity, along with Nathaniel Chalobah, to rotate, relax, and drive levels of competitiveness.
“I knew that I was analysing the last year the levels of Mowatt and [Cedric] Kipre and we considered they were two players that could help the team perform better,” Corberan stated. “In my opinion, Mowatt is a unique player with unique abilities. He has worked hard to improve as a player and remains a player who can do more for us, and when you see the level of him, or Okay, or Molumby before him, or Chalobah, it is critical for us to recover and get the best out of the players we have.”