Barnsley expect captain Alex Mowatt to be back for Swansea City play-off clash

Barnsley expect captain Alex Mowatt to return for their two-legged Championship play-off tie against Swansea City.

By Steve Jones
Sunday, 9th May 2021, 2:36 pm

Former Leeds United midfielder Mowatt was rested against Norwich City due to a groin issue but should be fit in time to face the Swans, Valerien Ismael told reporters after the 2-2 draw.

The Tykes will take on fourth-placed Swansea, who twice beat them 2-0 either side of the turn of the year, for a spot in the play-off final, with the first leg set to be played on Monday 17 May.

The return fixture will be played on 22 May before the final seven days later. The final could be moved to accommodate the Champions League Final, however.

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Barnsley manager Valerien Ismael.

Former Crystal Palace defender Ismael insisted past results will count for little, with his team having won 13 of their last 19 matches – an end to the season only bettered by league runners-up Watford.

“We played them twice in the space of a short time when Swansea were really strong, but the momentum has changed,” said Ismael.

“Daryl Dike and Carlton Morris coming in has given us more options and we’ve got a desire now to change the story of the season against Swansea.

“It’s an incredible achievement to finish the season where we have done after how it started and what happened last season.

Barnsley were only spared relegation in the last campaign after a 90th-minute, final-day winning goal at Brentford.

They were also aided enormously by Wigan Athletic’s 12-point deduction for entering administration.

“It’s down to the players’ commitment on the pitch," added Ismael, who only joined the club in October following Gerhard Struber’s exit.

"They have dedicated themselves to the principles of how we want to play football and I also want to pay tribute to my backroom staff, because everyone gives everything here.

“I really hope we can now get a big reward in the play-offs because, when you believe in something, you can achieve some great results.

“It was important for us to finish strongly against the champions and I thought we were back to the intensity we have shown throughout the season.”