Norwich City’s Howson eager to put injury woes behind him

Midfielder Jonny Howson cannot wait for his Premier League debut with Norwich City – after the longest spell on the sidelines of his career.

The 23-year-old has not played for exactly three months, since helping Leeds to a 2-0 home win over Millwall in the Championship.

But after playing 90 minutes for City Reserves in their 3-2 win against Wolves at Colney on Tuesday, �2m signing Howson is in the travelling party for today's visit to Stoke City.

Manager Paul Lambert could name Howson among his seven substitutes – and he has only 12 matches left this season in which to make an impact.

'It was just good to be back out there, back playing,' said Howson. 'It feels forever since I last played a competitive game, so it was about getting my fitness first and foremost, but I thought it went well.

'It was nice to be playing in a competitive match again. It's going to be very difficult at this minute in time to push into that side because of how well the lads are doing and there are lads on the bench who aren't getting a game.

'So it is going to be very difficult but I'm sure that when it comes round I just can't wait for that moment.

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'I think if you ask any professional, they don't like watching.

'Maybe it's been a little bit different coming down to a new club because in a way I've got to watch a few things from the sidelines, how the lads play and how they deal with certain things, so in that way maybe it's helped a little bit.

'But for any professional when you're watching, you're all the time just thinking 'I wish it was me out there'.'

Lambert confirmed that Howson was in his thoughts for the Stoke game – but he had not yet decided whether to include him on the teamsheet.

'Jonny is in the squad. He came through really well and he looked OK but you can never judge anything on a reserve game,' he said.

'I wouldn't just put him on for the sake of putting him on. It would have to be in a position where I felt he could change the game, or go and to try and win it or whatever the case may be. I haven't decided whether to put him on the bench or not.'