Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Jonny Howson believes his attacking instincts are a strong point – but the Norwich City midfielder is not about to complain to Chris Hughton over his current role.
The former Leeds captain has been given the job of protecting the Canaries’ defence by the Norwich boss, as Hughton searches for the formula to kick start City’s season.
It is a role questioned by some sections of the Norwich support, having seen Howson’s dynamic performances last term in a role with fewer defensive shackles.
But while Howson admitted he prefers the kind of bursting runs that brought his first Premier League goal last season following his January move, he is still grateful for starting all seven of City’s top-flight fixtures – especially when some of his midfield rivals are yet to get a go.
“On a personal note, I feel that’s the best part of my game – to get forward – and I feel that’s one of my main strengths, getting into the box and supporting the strikers,” said Howson.
“But this is the way it’s been this season. I’ve been asked to do a job of protecting the back four and as a professional you do what the manager says.
“The main thing for myself is that if you’re named in that starting XI, it’s not something that disappoints me in any way. I’ve been lucky enough to start every game and especially when there are some top class players sat on the bench, I can’t be picky with where I choose to play.
“It’s part and parcel of the game and the manager obviously chooses what he thinks is best.”
City’s start to the season has been sticky, but one bright point from their two heavy recent defeats has been skipper Grant Holt – with two goals in two games due reward for his bustling efforts.
Given only a few weeks earlier Holt’s contribution was also being questioned by some fans, Howson believes Holt’s upturn in fortunes is worth remembering.
“I think that just shows how people’s reactions can change so quickly,” said the 24-year-old. “There have been questions about where the goals were, and now he’s got two from two and people will be saying he’s back for England and all sorts again.
“Us as players and the management team, we are the ones that see it every day in training and there’s certainly no doubt nothing has changed and that’s the way it is.
“Even with myself, I’m sure if we had got a win at Chelsea everyone would have stopped talking about where that was going to come from.
“It’s still early days and you can’t predict anything just yet, whether it’s on a personal note or a team note.”
Howson will be one Hughton’s City squad at Colney over the international break as the Canaries work on putting their winless start to bed – albeit with a visit from an improving Arsenal side on Saturday week.
But there should not be any panic as Norwich batter their way through a tough run of fixtures, believes Howson – before a few games the Canaries will earmark as key to a successful season.
“There’s no need to panic and I don’t think there has been any sign of it,” added Howson. “We’re obviously disappointed we are losing games, but there isn’t going to be anything drastic happen just yet. We’ve got the international break and maybe we’ve got that little bit more time on the training pitch to concentrate on the Arsenal game.
“The down side is there are going to be a few players away but our focus now is on Arsenal, which is going to be another difficult game with the top class attacking players they possess, and we’ll have to be right on it. It’s just about playing at certain times and knowing the situation of the game.”