Alex Mowatt described his stunning winner against Cardiff City as “the best goal I’ve scored” – and admitted his season had been crying out for a shot in the arm.
Mowatt lifted Leeds United out of the worst home run in their history and ended a worrying run of six leagues games without a victory with a brilliant, 25-yard strike in Tuesday’s 1-0 win at Elland Road.
The club’s reigning player-of-the-year claimed his first goal since April on 63 minutes, beating Scotland international David Marshall with a shot which found the top corner.
Mowatt has struggled for form this season and his start against Cardiff came after a run of games on the bench.
The 20-year-old midfielder said head coach Steve Evans had been right to leave him out of United’s line-up in previous matches, despite Evans conceding on Tuesday that “with hindsight I should maybe have brought him in before.”
“I hadn’t been playing as well as I had been last year so my confidence hasn’t been as high as it usually would be,” Mowatt said.
“I’ve been out of the team for the last three games and rightly so because I’ve not been playing as well as I should be. But the gaffer put me in on Tuesday night and hopefully I repaid him.”
Mowatt struck nine times last season, most of those finishes coming from his deadly left foot, but the youngster said: “That’s definitely the best goal I’ve scored.
“I was going to shoot but I thought I was a little bit further out. But they gave me a bit more time and a couple of yards.
“I just thought ‘I’m going to hit it.’”
A badly-needed win moved Leeds six points clear of the Championship’s relegation places, easing the pressure after a period of turmoil at Elland Road.
United’s next game is away at Huddersfield Town on Saturday, against a club who have sacked manager Chris Powell.
Mowatt said: “It was a massive result because our home form hasn’t been good. It’s not been what it should be.”