Confidence is not an issue - Norwich City’s Jonny Howson

Saturday, September 29, 2012
9:30 AM

Midfielder Jonny Howson insists there is no lack of confidence in the Norwich City squad as they search for their first Premier League victory of the season.

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The Canaries take on Liverpool at Carrow Road today (3pm) and after five league games each, the two clubs have mustered just five points between them.

A record of three draws and two defeats for Chris Hughton’s men leaves them marginally ahead of the Reds, also under new management after Brendan Rodgers’ summer switch from Swansea.

But Howson, who has missed only one league game for City since making his debut in March, does not believe there is any lack of belief among the players.

“I’d say confidence plays a big part in everyone’s game, but I don’t see any signs of that confidence dropping at the minute,” he said.

“On an even scale I think in the past few games we’ve been up there. I don’t think there’s any sign of the confidence dropping just yet.

“It’s still early in the season and when you aren’t winning everyone seems to get on top of you, but if we had got what we deserved in the past few games they wouldn’t be talking about it.

“You’re always a little frustrated when you’re not winning games. It doesn’t matter what you do. Whether it’s on the training pitch, or messing around with your room-mates, you always want to win. We’re competitive lads. That’s the only frustration – the winning thing.

“Regarding the chances I think we’d be more frustrated if we weren’t getting those chances. You start worrying when you’re not. But we are creating things.”

City’s 1-0 defeat at Newcastle last Sunday typified their season so far, said Howson.

“It was a similar story to the last few games,” he said. “It’s just about taking those chances now. I’m sure it’s just round the corner and the positive thing is we’re playing good stuff.”

Midfield trio Alex Tettey, Jacob Butterfield and David Fox stepped up their claims for a slice of Premier League action with their performances in the Capital One Cup victory over Doncaster in midweek, but Howson said he and former Leeds team-mate Bradley Johnson welcomed the competition.

He said: “It’s what you want in this place – not knowing you’re just going to play week in, week out. You want someone on your shoulder to keep you on your toes and get the best out of you.

“Foxy and Tettey did very well. Me and Bradley, who have the position at the moment, are very aware of the threats around us, but it’s not just us two. I think all over the park there’s good competition for places. There’s a good bond in the group and it’s better to have someone on your shoulder.”

Howson knows what it’s like to face Liverpool after being on the wrong end of last season’s 3-0 defeat at Carrow Road and a Carling Cup tie in 2009 when he, Johnson and Robert Snodgrass were all in the Leeds side beaten 1-0 by the Reds at Elland Road.

“It’s why we play football to play against the best players in the world and Liverpool have got some of those players,” he said.

“These are the kind of games you look forward to. It’s one of the biggest clubs in the world, never mind the country, so you try to enjoy every minute of it.

“We’re aware of the way they play and have been training all week towards that. But for a home game it’s more about what we do. It’s up to us to take the game to them. We’re on home soil, we want to start the game bright and take the game to them.”

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