After fighting back into Millwall's first-team, Aussie defender Shane Lowry is facing a four match ban after picking up a red card in the dying stages of the Lions 1-1 draw with Sheffield Wednesday.
Lowry was sent off along with Wednesday midfielder Giles Coke after a melee broke out near the corner flag in the 89th minute which the 24-year old described as “a crazy end to the game”.
“I don’t really know what happened,” Lowry said. “I think the guy thought I stamped on him but I didn’t stamp on him, I was just trying to get the ball from between his legs and then it all just kicked off from there really.
“I didn’t see any punches and I certainly didn’t throw any punches. The guy threw me to the floor. And that’s when I got back up and we went head to head and stuff like that, and then basically everyone’s players got involved and it was crazy.”
Lowry admitted he was surprised he received a red card, which could mean he misses the next four games, and may appeal.
“I need to find out exactly what the report was from the referee, what he decided to send me off for, before I decided to do anything or look at it,” he said. “We’ll see.”
It is a blow for the combative defender who has just forced his way back into the Millwall XI under new manager Ian Holloway. Lowry has made 14 appearances in the Championship this season, but after featuring in the first six matches at the start of the campaign, he was first ruled out by suspension and then consigned to the bench.
He has played in the past six matches in a row under the watch of caretakers Neil Harris and Scott Fitzgerald, and then Holloway.
“The first six months of the season I kind of fell out of form, and with the manager decided to go a different route,” Lowry said.
“I’ve always said all along that I’m a centre half, I prefer playing there, and I didn’t really get a chance there earlier on in the season. Now I’ve been given a chance and I think I’ve been playing quite well.
“It’s always tough. I had a good season under Kenny [Jackett, former Millwall manager] and then a new manager came in and different people have different opinions.
"I’ve always said I’m not an attacking left back, I’m defensively minded. I was a centre half playing left back. Since I’ve moved over to centre back this season under the new manager I thought my performances have been miles better than they were, even at left back.”
Lowry admits missing 12 games this season and falling out of favour under former Lions manager Steve Lomas last year was probably the toughest time in his career.
“I don’t normally miss that many games, I’m normally involved,” he said. “But since the turn of the new year, obviously the new manager’s come in, he’s shown faith in me by picking me and my performances levels have picked up much, much better.”
Millwall sit in 21st place in the Championship on 26 points, just one spot out of the relegation zine and two points above Charlton, but Lowry believes the Lions can avoid the drop.
“We’ve got more than enough quality,” he said. “On paper we’ve got one of the best squads the club’s ever had. The chairman, to be fair to him, has invested a lot of money.
"The wage bill has gone up a lot more and I think the new manager coming in is going to help. It doesn’t happen overnight but you can see the last three performances, we’ve been leaking way too many goals this season, and we’ve been a lot tighter at the back.”
Perth-born Lowry has been overlooked for the Socceroos in recent years and the ECU Joondalup junior has yet to hear from new head coach Ange Postecoglou. Central defence and left back remain two problematic positions for the Australian national team.
But the former Leeds United and Sheffield player said he has been purely focusing on club football.
“It’s something I haven’t been too worried about,” Lowry said. “I’m sure he’ll [Ange] be getting reports back from people watching. He’s going to know my situation, I’ve said all along I’d love to represent my country and play for Australia but that’s the manager’s decision.
"Whether he wants to have a look at me is down to him. I’ll keep working hard and hopefully catch his eye.”1 comment