I feel a bit more at home here at Coleraine, says Stephen Lowry

Coleraine celebrate Stevie Lowry's goal against Warrenpoint Town. Pic by INPHO
Coleraine celebrate Stevie Lowry's goal against Warrenpoint Town. Pic by INPHO

If Stephen Lowry’s early-season performances for Coleraine are anything to go by then the midfielder could be in for a stellar season.

Lowry has been imperious in his three competitive fixtures since rejoining the Bannsiders back in May.

His calming influence in the middle of the park has been dove-tailing superbly with the youthful exuberance around him.

The 31-year-old returned to The Showgrounds after a four-year spell with Linfield and admits he is thriving in familiar surroundings.

“I think anyone who comes to Coleraine always gets treated well, but for me personally I haven’t wanted for anything,” he said.

“Trevor Moffatt and Drew Coyles have done everything for me, and the rest of the playing staff have made me feel so welcome again.

“Maybe that’s showing in my performances, I’m really enjoying my football.

“I feel a bit more at home here at Coleraine, maybe than I did at Linfield.

“Linfield is a fantastic club, but you can sometimes feel a bit like just a number because there’s such a big squad.

“But I’m delighted to be back at The Showgrounds, it’s been a great start, but that’s all it is.”

Lowry found the target in last Saturday’s Danske Bank Premiership opener at home to Warrenpoint Town.

A depleted Coleraine side saw off Stephen McDonnell’s outfit and Lowry was quick to praise the Academy graduates who stepped in last week.

“The young lads who came in did fantastically well,” he said.

“They deserve a lot of credit for the way they performed.

“For us to go and win the game in the way we did without so many key personnel only bodes well for the future.

“There was nothing in the game for the first half hour, but thankfully we got that two-goal lead going into half-time.

“It took that bit of quality to get us out in front, and once we got the third it went a bit flat, but we would have taken that all day long before the game.

“With us having so many players missing we were delighted to get the points and it was a good start for us.”

Cliftonville also got off to a winning start last week with a last-gasp win over Glentoran.

Boss Barry Gray was delighted with the character his side showed at The Oval and he is hoping it can fire them on to glory over this season.

“I think come the end of the season we need to be sitting with some sort of silverware, that’s certainly what the Reds faithful demand and that’s what we want as a team,” said Gray.

“The boys are very hungry to prove a point this year after the inconsistency of last season.

“Hopefully the Glentoran game is a marker for the rest of the season and it shows we won’t shy away from our responsibilities even when the chips are down.

“The boys showed real character in the second half at The Oval.

“We had a lot of the ball against Glentoran over the 90 minutes, but we were a bit timid and safe in the first half.

“But there was a great reaction after half-time.

“I thought we really deserved the equaliser and the character we showed to push on and get the winner was superb.

“It was a great feeling to score so late on as you knew Glentoran wouldn’t have the chance to go and get an equaliser.”

Gray is hoping his side can produce a similar performance against Coleraine this Saturday.

“The important thing was to get off to a winning start before we switch our attention to the visit of Coleraine,” he said.

“There’s no easy games when you play for Cliftonville because the expectation is to win every game.

“But we’ll look forward to welcoming Coleraine to Solitude, if we produce the same effort and endeavour as we did against the Glens then we’ll be confident going into it.”