Belfast Telegraph

Lowry praises Linfield team-mates

By Graham Luney

Philip Lowry proved again on Tuesday night that he can be the man for the big occasion at Linfield but the modest midfielder is more interested in showering praise on his team-mates.

Lowry, who also scored in last season’s JJB Sports Irish Cup final victory over Portadown, produced two headed goals in a 3-2 win over Glentoran that has virtually secured a 50th title for the famous south Belfast club.

The former Institute man was offered an opportunity to shine in place of the suspended Jamie Mulgrew and he responded in dream fashion.

The red, white and blue ribbons will not need to be removed from the Gibson Cup as the Blues are six points ahead of Crusaders with three rounds of games remaining.

They think it’s all over, it is now. Crusaders deserve immense credit for applying pressure with an extraordinary 10-game winning run, but the Blues proved they deserved to be champions with two impressive wins over Glentoran and away victories at Portadown and Crusaders.

When the going got tough, champions Linfield got going and Lowry should collect his second championship winner’s medal in two seasons — not a bad record.

Such is the Blues’ vastly superior goal difference over Crusaders, one more win — preferably at home to Cliftonville on Saturday — will get the party started.

Linfield are so close to another championship win they can smell it but there is no champagne flying around the changing room yet and Lowry knows their mission is not complete.

“Tuesday was one of those matches when I managed to get myself in the right place at the right time,” said Lowry. “I have wanted to get forward and score goals and thankfully that happened. It was a massive result for us and it’s all about the team rather than what I do.

“What matters is that we win games and hopefully there’s a title at the end of the season for us.

“It’s always nice to score against Glentoran but what matters is the team performance and I was just thrilled to get back into the side and make a contribution.

“No-one can say we are across the line yet and no-one will be thinking that way. We have a very tough game against Cliftonville on Saturday and they will be determined to beat us.

“Although they have lost their manager (Eddie Patterson) their players will be keen to prove they have a future at the club and they will want to end the season on a high and qualify for Europe.

“We are well aware that they are capable of beating us if we do not perform.

“The great thing from our perspective is that we have come through a very tough round of fixtures and passed the test.

“In big matches players have to step up to the plate and the boys have done that.”

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