Sent-off Alex Mowatt let Barnsley down, says boss Paul Heckingbottom

Alex Mowatt is shown a red card 42 minutes into his career at Barnsley
Alex Mowatt is shown a red card 42 minutes into his career at Barnsley
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Barnsley head coach Paul Heckingbottom believes Alex Mowatt let the team down through his debut sending off.

The Reds’ new signing, who joined for an undisclosed fee last week, was sent for an early bath just 42 minutes into his debut after a reckless challenge.

Mowatt had a decent effort saved before leaving his team mates to battle on a man down for almost an hour during their defeat to Wolves on Tuesday night.

“My thoughts initially were it was a red and when I watch it, if it is the same then he’s let us down,” admitted Heckingbottom.

“If people jump out of tackles, we’ll nail them, but if people tackle recklessly, we’ll nail them as well.

“If they’re going for the ball and they genuinely get it wrong and it can be construed as dangerous, so be it.”

Despite the straight sending off, which means the midfielder will be unavailable for the next three games, Heckingbottom was impressed with what he saw from the 21-year-old.

Mowatt looked sharp and showed signs of being able to replace former captain Conor Hourihane in the middle of the park before his error in judgement.

The player hit 13 goals for Leeds United, and he will be looking to find the back of the net for the Reds to replace the goals lost in midfield through Hourihane’s departure.

Heckingbottom, who led the Reds back to the Championship last term, added: “He nearly got a goal with a really good effort early on, that would have been a much better debut to remember.

“He passed the ball around quickly and looked composed in the middle.

“Despite being only 21, he has over 100 Championship games under his belt so he’ll bring experience to us.

“He adds quality to an area that we had identified as needing it.”