Alex Mowatt | 'Christmas period so important in football calendar'

Alex Mowatt smiling in his tracksuit before a match

Alex Mowatt insists a healthy points return from the four festive fixtures can put the Baggies in a really positive position at the start of 2024.

Albion have away trips to Middlesbrough on Saturday, December 23 and Swansea City on New Year’s Day either side of two home matches against Norwich City on Boxing Day and Leeds United on Friday, December 29.

Mowatt’s men, who head up the Riverside Stadium this weekend sat inside the play-off positions, will be hoping to increase the distance between themselves and the chasing top-six pack over Christmas.

The midfielder admits it’s a “hectic period” for footballers, but also stressed just how important this time of year can be for teams chasing certain targets.

He said: “It’s a massively important period for us and all of the games are against teams around us who are fighting for the play-offs.

“It’s a really busy period, but it’s a great chance to come out of it with plenty of points in the bag with there being so many games. It’ll be difficult, but we’re really looking forward to it.

“When I was younger and first coming through into the senior side, I did find the festive schedule quite difficult, but now, I’m very much used to it.

“Most of my friends and family come to the game on Boxing Day and they fit their Christmas schedule around me and my football, which is obviously really kind of them to do.

“It’s a really hectic period and we don’t get many days off, but we’ve got a really good opportunity to get a load of points on the board.

“Everyone always says the Christmas period is one of the most important ones in the football calendar. So much can change in terms of positions and points in the table in such a short amount of time.

“It’s a good chance to see where you are at the start of the New Year and we’ve got some difficult games.

“If we can get some wins, it will definitely push us forward for the rest of the year.”

The 28-year-old spent the 2022/23 campaign on loan at Saturday’s hosts Middlesbrough, making 31 appearances for the Teessiders as they qualified for the Sky Bet Championship play-off semi-finals.

Alex says he has a tremendous amount of respect for plenty of people at the club, but insists he’s as determined as always to help the Albion return home with what would be an impressive three points.

“It would be fantastic for us to get three points there on Saturday.

“The Riverside Stadium is a really difficult place to go. Their home form is good and was especially good last year.

“It was bouncing last year when I was there because the team was doing really well and winning plenty of games.

“It will be nice to see a lot of familiar faces and I’ve got so much respect for so many people up there. I really enjoyed working with the manager and all of his staff.

“I had a good season with all the lads last year so it’ll always be a place and a club I have a lot of respect for.”

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