Lowry ready to take Villa chance with both hands
Aston Villa's rookie central defender Shane Lowry is determined to make the most of his unexpected first-team opportunity as Martin O'Neill's side gear up for Monday's Premier League clash with Liverpool at Anfield.
Lowry made his senior debut for Villa as a replacement for shoulder injury victim Curtis Davies during Thursday's Europa League clash at Rapid Vienna.
The 20-year-old will be in contention to face Fernando Torres and his team-mates although full-back Habib Beye could also step into the role if Davies is unfit.
The only other experienced centre-back is Carlos Cuellar after the retirement of skipper Martin Laursen and the sale of Zat Knight to Bolton.
But Lowry is backing Villa not only to overcome the single-goal setback against Rapid but also to seize his own chance on the big stage.
Lowry said: "The squad might be a bit thin but it's a good chance for the lads coming through. It certainly gives us more of an opportunity.
"For a young player coming through, the lack of signings is ideal because you want to get your chance.
"In terms of Europe, we are only 1-0 down. We'll take them on again at Villa Park and we have the quality to go out there and get the result.
"For me, I'll view it as a mixed debut. Yes, I was happy to play - but the team didn't get the result.''
Davies, who took responsibility for Rapid Vienna's goal, admits to being frustrated by the recurrence of his shoulder setback which first came to light during his West Brom days.
He said: "My shoulder's slightly jarred again and it's frustrating because I actually tried to do something positive. I stepped forward with the ball and took a couple of men on.
"I thought I was fouled but I didn't really see where the ball went. I fell on the shoulder funny and then it just jarred a bit.
"It popped out slightly. It's frustrating that it keeps getting sore so I'm just going to have to address that and have a look at it and see what we want to do.''
O'Neill will hope striker John Carew, the club's leading scorer for the past two seasons, has recovered from the virus which ruled him out of the game in Vienna.