Match Preview

Cup run can add momentum

COLERAINE midfielder Stephen Lowry believes an extended run in the BetMcLean Cup can give the Bannsiders some momentum…

The Stripes – who have reached the last two finals – face Dungannon Swifts this evening as they eye a spot in the last four of the competition.

Lowry, who netted in the showpiece decider against Cliftonville last season, knows the Bannsiders can ill-afford to take the Swifts lightly.

“As a squad, we are looking forward as we’ve had an indifferent start,” he said.

“We’re not overly happy with the start we’ve made as we’ve lost five games and we want to turn that around.

“It’s important that we go on a run now.

“I don’t know if I’ll play in that game as I’m just back from injury but I’m sure I’ll be in the squad.

“It’s a Cup we’ve done well in and some fantastic memories.

“The last two years getting to the final has been great and it helps to keep the season alive.

“We’re looking forward to the game but we know Dungannon are a tricky side and they’ll come trying to play which will make it a good test.”

Lowry made a welcome return to action at the weekend as he completed 90 minutes in the 4-0 win against Portadown at The Showgrounds.

The Limavady man was initially ruled out of the start of the campaign due to a knee injury before suffering a broken wrist whilst playing for the U20’s.

However, he is now looking forward and is keen to make up for lost time.

“I’m delighted to be back as it’s been a frustrating year for me to be honest,” he added.

“I’m delighted to get on the pitch, to get the win and there’s no better feeling than playing football.

“It was a great start by us against Portadown and probably ideal as we were off the back of two bad results.

“We knew it wasn’t going to be easy as they have a new manager in place.

“The first goal took the shackles off a bit but we have good players, we believe in ourselves and we were confident coming into the game.

“From my point of view, I’m just pleased to be back, it’s been a long season so far with injuries and I haven’t had that in my career so far.

“Hopefully my body won’t be too sore and we can look ahead.”

And how did the 36-year-old find watching games from the sidelines?

“I’m not great at watching games,” he confessed.

“I’d obviously love to be playing but at the same time it’s a part of football and you have to move on.

“I’ve done the rehab and I’ve hated not being a part of it as it’s been difficult.

“It’s difficult to feel a part of it when you’re not in the squad and you can’t replace being involved on a matchday.”