Lowry determined to make impression with Blades

SHEFFIELD United loan signing Shane Lowry is refusing to give up on a top-flight career with Aston Villa.

The Australian-born defender has joined the Blades until the end of the season and makes his home debut today against Norwich City.

Lowry has yet to discuss his long-term future with Villa manager Gerard Houllier but has not figured in a Premier League game and has made only three appearances as a substitute in Cup competition.

"I am still under contract next season and you don't know what might happen if I do well here," he said. "But I am 22 in June and I need to start playing first-team football and making a career. I don't want to be stuck in Aston Villa's reserves.

"In an ideal world, I would be playing first-team football at Villa but they have an abundance of quality and have finished sixth in the Premier League for three years in a row.

"Hopefully, when we get to the summer, we can sit down and weigh up my options. I just want to make my name in the game."Lowry played Championship football on loan at Plymouth Argyle last season before moving to Leeds United where he helped the club win promotion from League One.

"I know what it is all about now because I played 13 games with Plymouth and had a great experience at Leeds. Sheffield United is another huge club with big expectations and I just want to help the club keep clean sheets and climb up the table."

Blades manager Micky Adams fielded a back four with an average age of just over 20 against Coventy City due to injuries ruling out more experienced players such as Chris Morgan, Nyron Nosworthy and Stephen Jordan.

The Blades kept a clean sheet and picked up a second consecutive draw which Lowry believes is a reason for optimism.

"It was a young back four and we are all players who are on loan," he reflected. "We may be young and still learning the game but everyone gave 100 per cent and a clean sheet does wonders for confidence. Steve Simonsen gave a world-class performance in goal and we hung in there, even when they threw everything at us but the kitchen sink."

Sheffield-based Chinese snooker player Ding Junhui will be guest of honour at today's game after winning his first Masters title last weekend.