By: Omar Jatta
Gambian forward, Modou Barrow, continues his rejuvenation at Reading, as he helped the Royals to a very important away victory to bottom-of-the-table Burton Albion with a well rounded performance.
The 25-year-old played a huge part in two of the three goals that saw Reading secure a solid 3-1 win at rock bottom side. And it took just 20 minutes for the speedy forward to influence the outcome of last night’s game, after collecting the ball on the right hand side, dazzled past the Burton full-back with his pace and close control of the ball, before sending in a high cross to find Leandro Bacuna on the left of the Burton six yard line, who laid back the ball into the path of Icelandic midfielder, Jon Dadi Bodvarsson to net his seventh of the season.
It was a perfect start for the Royals, who have been struggling to get going since the turn of the year. They were just four point above the drop zone after a worrying dip in form saw Jaap Stam’s side with no wins in their last eight league matches and no goals in the last three. That low confidence took another battering last Friday when they crashed out of the FA Cup with a 3-1 defeat at Sheffield Wednesday in the fourth round.
The panic alarms went ringing again when Lucas Akins converted a penalty for the home side to level, but Bodvarsson scored second after Chris Gunter added a spectacular second to give the Royals their first win in nine, and again the Gambian flyer was the provider for Bodvarsson in the 68th minute, when he was played through on goal and his low cross on the by-line left the Icelander to poke in from close range.
Despite Reading’s poor form, Barrow, who joined the club in the summer from Swansea, has been one of the standout performers for the team and deservedly he was voted the club’s player of the month a fortnight ago for the second month in succession, after scoring four times in December and looked a constant threat whenever he managed to get on the ball – and that was enough to win 60% of the fan’s vote, and the Tilehurst End Player of the Month award for December. He was Man of the match in three of the six games he played, and last night he had shown why he’s held so high in Jaap Stam’s plans.
Finally, the Gambian International is beginning prove critics and doubters wrong. He had endured a difficult start to his time in the UK, as he struggled for game time at his previous club, Swansea City after joining them from Swedish outfit Ostersunds in July 2014. He has not had much chance at the Liberty Stadium and was sent out on loan to few Championship sides during that time, the last was at Leeds United, where he made just five appearances under his former boss Garry Monk, who brought him to Swansea. He was finally sold to Reading last summer, after 55 appearances for the club, with 2 goals to his name.
However, that decision seem to be the right one as the player continues his development and by playing regularly, he’s regaining his confidence to become the player that had received rave reviews upon his arrival to Wales.