ALEX Lowry, the Rangers playmaker who joined Hearts on a season-long loan last Friday, has opened up on the reasons behind his move to Tynecastle and pledged to build on his impressive debut against St Johnstone.

Lowry came on in the second-half of the cinch Premiership match at McDiarmid Park on Saturday and, despite only having met his new team mates that morning, made an immediate impact.

The 20-year-old injected much-needed energy and invention into the visitors’ play going forward and initiated the attack that led to Lawrence Shankland scoring in injury-time with a looping pass to Liam Boyce.

The Scotland Under-21 internationalist, who had grown frustrated at his lack of first team game time at Ibrox, was pleased to help his new side record a 2-0 triumph in their league opener.

He is now keen to feature regularly for Hearts, who play Rosenborg over in Norway in the first leg of their Conference League third qualifying round double header on Thursday night, in the coming months and help them to enjoy a successful campaign at home and abroad.

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“I was just straight into the squad which was a surprise,” he said. “But I was absolutely buzzing. I was just delighted to get going. The sooner the games come the easier it is to get in and about the boys.

“We just clicked. When I went on the pitch I was always looking for Shanks or Boycie when he came on. As I say, it just clicked, which is rare, but definitely something I was happy with.

“I just want to make a difference as much as I can. I think it just comes to me naturally. My time at Rangers, that was always how I played and always how I was taught to play growing up through the ranks. It has always just come naturally to me.

“Saturday was a good start to the season and a step in the right direction. Hopefully we can kick on now and have a good week.”

Lowry has impressed whenever he has featured for Rangers, who crashed to a 1-0 defeat to Kilmarnock in the Premiership at Rugby Park at the weekend to fall three points behind defending champions Celtic, and many supporters were keen to see him remain at Ibrox this term. 

However, the youngster admitted he had no issues about not being involved and had moved to Hearts on loan following conversations about his future with his manager Michael Beale during the summer.

The Herald: Rangers loanee Alex Lowry, right, in action for Hearts against St Johnstone at McDiarmid Park this

“I want to be playing week in, week out,” he said. “Obviously, it is the next step in my career. Don't get me wrong, the quality at Rangers is incredible so it is hard to get frustrated when certain players are ahead of you. 

“I always tried to work my hardest to try to push the players who were ahead of me. But in the back of my mind I wanted to play football. So Hearts is definitely the right step for me to go and play.

“I've known him (Beale) from when he was at Rangers under (Steven) Gerrard previously. I've always had a good relationship with him and we spoke a lot over pre-season. We both thought game time would benefit me in the future. It's definitely something I was keen on doing.

“When I spoke to Naisy (technical director Steven Naismith) and Frankie (head coach McAvoy) they were going to give me the platform to perform. It is up to me to perform and keep my jersey here. It's something I was up for, a challenge I was up for, so hopefully I can keep that jersey.”

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Lowry had several options available to him – including the chance to go down to England – but he is confident that Hearts is the best place for him to develop further as a player.

“I just think the style of football suits me,” he said. “The lure of European football was definitely a factor in that and just to play at Tynecastle. I've always been fond of Tynecastle in my times playing there previously. It was just the next step for me to go.

“I can play anywhere across the front three, in centre mid or where Naisy and Frankie want me to play. I will bring a lot of creativity. I am always forward thinking and always want to get the fans off their seats. I want to get them to engage with us so they are backing us this season.”

Lowry will wear the number 51 jersey this term – but he stressed that it was not a reference to the famous 5-1 win that Hearts recorded over their city rivals Hibernian in the Scottish Cup final back in 2012.

“That's been my number at Rangers so I just carried it over,” he said. “But it seemed to get a good reception.”

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