ONLY a year ago, Jason Lowe was opening his goal-scoring account for Oldham Athletic in their League One clash with Notts County while on loan at Boundary Park.
Now just 12 months on, after a meteoric rise into Steve Kean’s first team plans, the 20-year-old is fully engulfed in Blackburn Rovers’ latest relegation battle.
And despite missing last season’s run-in, Lowe doesn’t feel out of place ahead of another massive game against West Brom this afternoon.
“At the start of the season, I’d never have guessed I would play in as many games as I have. But I am just happy to be doing a job for the team, whether it be at right back or midfield,” said Lowe who has come through Rovers’ youth ranks.
“Last season I was on-loan at Oldham and was in contact with a few of the boys like Phil Jones, and obviously the gaffer and the staff have seen it before, so they know what it is about, they know what is required.
“We have just got to play the game, the more you think about things, the more pressure you’re going to put on yourself, and the last thing you want to be thinking is ‘what if?’. So it is all about playing the game to the best we can, and see what happens at the end of it.
“I’m not really thinking about what I have done this season. It is all about the team and maybe I can have a look at my personal achievements once the season ends and we hopefully stay in the Premier League.”
Rovers travel to the Hawthorns today in the final relegation place but, with just one point separating the four clubs immediately above basement side Wolves, Lowe knows there will be plenty of twists and turns yet.
Kean’s men looked as though they were heading to safety when wins over Wolves and Sunderland saw them move six points clear of safety, but surprise results elsewhere have left them right back in the mire.
Lowe said: “We need to get ourselves in a position where we are not relying on other clubs, and thats what we need to aim for.
“We will try and get maximum points in the games coming up and see where that puts us.
“People are asking me every week, ‘how many points do you think we’ll need?’, and you go off the last couple of results, and you can’t really say a figure. We just need to get as many points as we can, which hopefully will be more than the other teams.
“Sometimes you do see the results and think, ‘just someone do us a favour’, but at the same time, you can’t affect it after the whistle. Fair play to the teams getting the unbelievable results.
“But we have had our fair share, we got a point at Anfield, we won at Old Trafford, and I don’t see why we can’t get any result.
“We know that if we play as well as we can, in the games coming up, there is a great chance of picking up maximum points in most games.”
Lowe insists everyone at the club knows the seriousness of their league position but is adamant the positive mood in the camp will not be dampened.
“You don’t want to start hiding away from the facts and the figures of what could happen, but if you do dwell on it, it could well backfire,” he said.
“All us boys have to focus on is doing the best we can on the field, and what happens, happens and we can’t do any more.
“The lads’ application against Manchester United was absolu-tely first class, and it came down to two great strikes that have undone us. It was a bitter way to lose, but we’ll take a lot of positives from it, and take the commitment and enthusiasm and will to win into the West Brom game.
“Obviously we have two tough matches away at Chelsea and Tottenham, but I think we have every chance of winning the other five and don’t see any reason why we can’t strive to achieve that.
“The management have been first class all the way through it, and they have had stick all season, so the way they have applied themselves and transfer-red their energy on to the players has given us confidence, and we need to keep that going until the end of the season.”