Tough talking from Norwich City’s Jonny Howson ahead of Stoke’s Premier League visit

Norwich City's Jonny Howson is back and ready to play his part for the Premier League finale. 
Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd Norwich City's Jonny Howson is back and ready to play his part for the Premier League finale. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Saturday, March 8, 2014
8:00 AM

Jonny Howson is acutely aware Norwich City’s squad have a duty of care to do everything they can to keep the Canaries in the Premier League.

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"We know what is at stake and the pressure comes from within. If you care about something, it doesn’t have to be football but whatever you do in life, then if you care you want to do well and look after it. The lads are all passionate, they all want to do well and no-one needs to tell us."

Jonny Howson

Howson and the rest of Chris Hughton’s players have had to endure fresh accusations they lack the essential ingredients to survive after being mauled at Aston Villa. The 25-year-old’s return following a long term back complaint is a major boost for the defining phase of the season. Howson is a technically-gifted attacking midfielder with a goal badly missed during his absence. The straight-talking Yorkshireman is also made of the right stuff, as he demonstrated in addressing the perennial debate on Chris Hughton’s own future, growing questions regarding the lack of leaders inside the Norwich dressing room and City’s capacity to ultimately resist.

Howson watched the carnage unfold at Villa Park from the relative safety of the visitors’ dug-out but that made it no easier to digest.

“When you look back at it, and I have been in situations like that in the past, things can happen so quickly. You are in as much shock as the fans. You can have a crazy, mad spell,” he said. “From a personal point of view I don’t think it will be the last time it happens in my career and I also know the boot will be on the other foot. It is about how you react. It can happen to anyone if you switch off and a team gets on you. At this level you will be punished for mistakes.

“The manager is right to demand a reaction and to be fair the majority of the time there has been a positive reaction. We can talk as much as we want about that game but its gone and all we can affect is Stoke. We know what is at stake and the pressure comes from within. If you care about something, it doesn’t have to be football but whatever you do in life, then if you care you want to do well and look after it. The lads are all passionate, they all want to do well and no-one needs to tell us. We all want the same thing and that brings its own pressure.”

Howson insists what happened in the first half at Villa Park does not highlight a lack of leadership.

“I think that is a little bit unfair. If you look at the group we have now we have some experience with players like Russell Martin, Seb (Bassong), Joseph (Yobo) and they are just three at the back,” he said. “You add Big John (Ruddy) in goal and these are lads who have played at different levels of football and experienced different situations so for me that is a little unfair to mention that. We have 10 games to play and I think we’ll be fine. It is just a case of picking up points when we deserve to. The only thing missing is that bit of consistency. This is the tightest it has been for a number of seasons and West Ham is the classic example because over Christmas they were beaten heavily a couple of times and in the bottom three and then they win three on the bounce and they look safe in mid-table.”

Howson acknowledges, however, every set-back at this stage merely heightens the level of scrutiny on Hughton.

“It seems to have been there all season and from the players’ point-of-view I don’t see how because apart from maybe at the start for a period we have not been in the bottom three,” said Howson. “For some reason it keeps getting mentioned. I don’t know what they expect. For me he has done a great job. I don’t know what goes on behind-closed-doors regarding the manager but we are all behind him. You can see that, especially the effort we put in against Tottenham. That showed everyone was together. We can only effect what we do, but we know what goes on inside the football club.”

7 comments

  • Your little typo is apposite, Jarroldr82. Hughton hopefully is an exiting manager. Soon, please.

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    Mad Brewer

    Sunday, March 9, 2014

  • Perhaps we can tempt Sir Alex Ferguson out of retirement, other than that, if we want to stay in the premier league, stick with CH. I have no doubt that for however long he stays we will stay in the PL, it might be by the skin of our teeth sometimes. Change manager to more exiting one and I think we would get relegated with our budget.

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    Jarroldr82

    Sunday, March 9, 2014

  • I think we should all back the manager like most of the players do, I don't know of to many others managers that could do what CH has done for us, those two players aren't good enough for the premier league and don't deserve to be playing so they aren't going to be his biggest fans.

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    Jarroldr82

    Saturday, March 8, 2014

  • Hughton certainly isn`t good enough for the Premiership. Wes has done OK. Becchio has never been given the chance. It`s not so much what Hughton has done for us, it`s what he`s done to us. We have the second-lowest goals for tally, the third worst goals against record =3rd worst goal difference. This could yet decide the issue of relegation. No player has improved under his régime, several have gone backwards.

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    Mad Brewer

    Sunday, March 9, 2014

  • We'll said jarrol

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    Croydonary

    Saturday, March 8, 2014

  • Howson looks like he`s `chunkied up` a bit in that photo. Make him Captain.

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    Mad Brewer

    Saturday, March 8, 2014

  • Oh well it makes a change from Russ Martin muttering about how the team are all behind hughton. Any chance we can have Wes or Becchios opinion on how they back the manager ?

    Report this comment

    Jimhow

    Saturday, March 8, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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