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Cowan taking nothing for granted after perfect start

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Great start: Keith Cowan (right) takes the acclaim after his debut goal for Glentoran

Great start: Keith Cowan (right) takes the acclaim after his debut goal for Glentoran

Great start: Keith Cowan (right) takes the acclaim after his debut goal for Glentoran

Keith Cowan was delighted to mark his Glentoran debut with a goal and, more importantly, play his part in the win over Institute, which returned his side to the top of the Danske Bank Premiership.

The centre-back, who joined the Oval men after a number of years with Finn Harps, was given his first start by manager Mick McDermott and he admits even scoring and contributing to a clean sheet may not be enough to retain his place for next weekend's clash at Larne.

"I don't think I was brought to Glentoran for my goals, but it's always nice to chip in and help out, but the most important thing is the three points and a clean sheet is also an added bonus," said Cowan.

"We have a huge squad there and there's guys including myself that haven't had a lot of game time and have been champing at the bit to get in and you have to take our chance when it comes.

"However there's no guarantees that we'll be playing next week, because competition for places is tough.

"Competition for places is a good thing and training has been brilliant and everyone knows they have to give their all every day at training.

"But I also feel that competition for places improves our squad, because having such tight competition is only going to improve us as a team."

The 34-year-old netted from close range after home keeper Rory Brown had parried Hrvoje Plum's free-kick, doubling an advantage that the visitors had taken through Navid Nasseri's opener.

Cowan insists that, while there's a feel good factor at the Glens at the moment, they aren't taking anything for granted and know there's still a long way to go in an intriguing title race.

"We are in a good place and obviously top of the league is a nice place to be and I think results went for us, so it has given us a small cushion," he explained.

"Over the last few weeks, we hadn't been playing as well as they had been coming up to Christmas and we have had to grind out a few results, but you have to be able to do that if you want to be in contention for trophies.

"You have to win ugly at times and sort of take your chances when they come but, as I said, it's a good place to be at the minute."

Stute boss Sean Connor he admitted his side didn't do enough and the outcome was a fair result.

"At 2-0 it's a difficult game," he said. "Their game management was very good in the second half.

"We huffed and puffed without really creating as much as we did in the first half when we had two or three really good chances.

"The difference was that when they got their chances, they were clinical."

INSTITUTE: R Brown, Brogan, Curry, C McLaughlin, Morrow, Tweed (Burke, 74 mins), McCauley (Carty, 67 mins), Crown, G Brown, McCready (Obhakhan, 57 mins), Pomeroy. Unused subs: Bradley, B McLaughlin, Hume, Wells.

Glentoran: Antolovic, Marron, Cowan, Garrett, Kane, Gallagher, Plum, Nasseri (O'Connor, 70 mins), Van Overbeek (O'Neill, 68 mins), Mitchell, McDaid. Unused subs: McClean, Frazer, Herron, Pepper, Morris.

Referee: Robert Hennessy (Clare).

Man of the match: Navid Nasseri

Match rating: 6/10

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