Jonny Howson sees reaction from Norwich City in Chelsea defeat

Jonny Howson drives forward during Norwich City's defeat at Chelsea. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Jonny Howson drives forward during Norwich City's defeat at Chelsea. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

Sunday, October 7, 2012
5:47 PM

Jonny Howson believes Norwich City delivered a positive reaction from their Liverpool defeat – even if their best was not good enough to topple the champions of Europe.

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Fernando Torres celebrates scoring Chelsea's equaliser against Norwich. Picture: Paul Chesterton / Focus ImagesFernando Torres celebrates scoring Chelsea's equaliser against Norwich. Picture: Paul Chesterton / Focus Images

Grant Holt’s early opener – his second in two games – momentarily suggested a shock at Stamford Bridge on Saturday, before Chelsea rushed through the gears and comfortably took all three points.

But the 90 minutes was still an improvement on City’s 5-2 defeat to Liverpool at Carrow Road seven days earlier, and Howson felt it provided the response City boss Chris Hughton had called for.

“The effort is always there, that’s never been a question, but yes I think there was a reaction,” said Howson. “It may not have been the turning point, but a key moment in the game was when they equalised within three minutes of Grant scoring.

“Coming in at half-time 3-1 down, with the second half – OK, it’s a terrific finish from Ivanovic to twist on it and put it in from there. But apart from that, I think we restricted them to very little. So I think you can take positives, especially from the second half. But at times we did play some good stuff and created some good chances, so we can learn from this experience.”

Norwich City correspondent Michael Bailey says…

The Canaries were certainly better than against Liverpool seven days earlier, and they were definitely up against superior opposition – if everyone stays fit, Chelsea are going to go very close to the Premier League title this season.

As for Norwich, and even with Chelsea’s superior quality, they simply have to be better organised defensively and get back to the good things they were starting to do after the defeat at Fulham.

That is what Norwich’s top-flight survival will rest on. And after the game with Arsenal, they will have to start getting things right.

In the end City were powerless to prevent their hosts rolling through them, almost at will – led by the supreme trio of Juan Mata, Eden Hazard and Brazilian starlet Oscar.

The forward three – playing behind Fernando Torres – mixed, matched and moved the Canaries all over the place once Roberto di Matteo’s men got into their stride.

And on Saturday’s evidence, it will take a lot to stop the European champions in their bid for Premier League glory. Certainly this weekend, they were too hot for Norwich to handle.

“It’s obviously difficult at times, dealing with those three, and we were very aware of that before the game – especially in that final third,” said Howson. “The passing and movement, and the possession; at times they are all over the place.

“And especially when they’ve got players like (Frank) Lampard who is going to pick them out and pick out their well timed runs, it was always going to be difficult.

“On a personal note, for me it was the movement and the interchange they have. It was one-touch two-touch football and they’re difficult to pick them up at times with their pace and they are technically gifted players.

“There is a reason why they are European champions, top of the league at the minute and flying.

“They’ve got a 100pc record here this season and have spent millions on players. Even for the future, they’re going to have real top class – especially Hazard and Oscar; I was really impressed with them today.

“Saying all that, we got off to a great start and I think if we could’ve just held on to that a bit longer, who knows what could have happened.”

Indeed, City’s first-half lead was short lived as Torres replied almost immediately – after which, Chelsea kicked on.

“I thought it was more than three minutes...” smiled Howson. “If we could’ve just settled the game down; them equalising almost turns the game on its head straight away. It puts them back on the front foot and it gives them huge encouragement. The longer we could’ve held out, it obviously stops that.

“But when you’ve got world class players, they can come up with things and they bounce straight back.”

With the latest international break this coming weekend, it leaves a little longer than usual for City to contemplate Arsenal’s visit to Carrow Road on Saturday week – something they will do in the top-flight relegation zone. But Howson believes the Norwich dressing room is maintaining its positive outlook.

“It’s very much been the same – we are obviously all disappointed when we come in on a Monday morning after the game, especially when you’ve had a defeat because no player likes to lose any competitive game,” said Howson.

“I think that’s through the frustration of losing games, but the morale is still there. Out on the training pitch we’re still doing the same things, the attitude has been the same. There’s been no signs of any of that changing and it’s still early days in the season.

“I’m sure if we keep working the way we are and if we just get that bit of luck to turn around, then it will come. It’s a good group of lads and there are some great characters in that dressing room, and we will stick together because it’s a close knit bunch.

“It’s obviously going to be very difficult to get ourselves out of this situation, but it’s eight games – still early days – and the thing we knew at the start of the season is it’s a very tough league and every single game is difficult.

“So the mind set isn’t going to change. We will keep trying to do the same things.”

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18 comments

  • there is a simple way out of this situation...get rid of the manager. I just wish we had a gaffer that could inspire. i have seen nothing yet

    Report this comment

    lordyfan

    Sunday, October 7, 2012

  • I can't weigh it up...Hughton got 2 manager of the month awards last season. Perhaps he's a good manager but just plain wrong for NCFC. He certainly seems to struggle to motivate the guys. Who do you fancy instead Lordy... Holloway? McCarthy?

    Report this comment

    Timbo

    Sunday, October 7, 2012

  • should have never given Houghton the managers job not a premir manger should have gone for a manger from aboard same old story the board won't pay the money . the board don't deserve to have a club in the prem . but the fans do let down again by D Smith and for board.They never learn just want to be a rich clubs with millions in the bank and are perpair to be relegated rather than pay the money.

    Report this comment

    DOBBY1970

    Monday, October 8, 2012

  • i think u should keep hougton hes s h i t like your sorry team. going down going down ha ha ha ha

    Report this comment

    thewhites

    Monday, October 8, 2012

  • Norwich are just not good for this league no class players just a championship side with championship players going to be relegated

    Report this comment

    DOBBY1970

    Monday, October 8, 2012

  • there is a simple way out of this situation...get rid of the manager. I just wish we had a gaffer that could inspire. i have seen nothing yet

    Report this comment

    lordyfan

    Sunday, October 7, 2012

  • I agree with JGL. The General also has a point ref the loss of Culverhouse, hardly balanced by the "gain" of Bewilderwood. This fellow`s only claims to managerial fame are: playing Holt on the wing at Forest, falling out with him after the fans had voted their top-scorer Player of the previous Season, then capping a contract dispute with an "uneasy truce", prior to flogging Holty to Shrewsbury for peanuts. After top-scoring there, GH became Bryan Gunn`s sole claim to managerial success at Naaridge, albeit under the Svengalian influence of the man who has since founded the Hall of Infamy. Calderdash`s demeanour does make him come across as the "Big I am" alluded to by The General. I wonder what the `easiness` of the truce `twixt him and our Captain is now, on a scale of 0 to 0? Still, I suppose he may have been influential in extending Mr. Bunn`s career as a serial bench-warmer at our expense. This aberration also helped fund Blackburn`s acquisition of Jordan Rhodes, a striker currently replaced in part at Huddersfield by ..... James `Pitbull` Vaughan, who seems to be enjoying himself there.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Monday, October 8, 2012

  • I'm as frustrated with the results as the next fan but to get rid of Hughton after just seven games would be sheer madness. Have you considered what the effect on the squad would be? And who exactly would you bring in to replace him? Anyone who might be available either has no experience in the Prem or has taken teams down from there, eg. Keane and McCarthy. Hughton was the best candidate when he was appointed and we should give him a fair chance. The rot was setting in while £ambert was still here - check his record only the last third of last season - which was arguably why he jumped ship, ie. he saw the writing on the wall and decided to get out while the going was good. There must have been some good reason for him going to Villa! And his current team are only two points above us after playing a much easier fixture list - do you think that they should sack their manager too? I'll have been supporting the Canaries for sixty years come next April, and I've seen us in far worse messes than this one, believe me ....

    Report this comment

    Johnny Gavin Lives

    Sunday, October 7, 2012

  • Just shows what some fans no about football will sit and watch a poor performence and say nothing i have play and train a football team.mate

    Report this comment

    DOBBY1970

    Tuesday, October 9, 2012

  • I don't think the problem is the manager I think the biggest mistake we made as a club is not trying to persuade Culverhouse to stay because he made us tick and Calderwood I think he likes to make out he is the big I am he has done nothing and is nothing but we have to make do with what we have and don't think the answer is getting rid of CH.

    Report this comment

    The General

    Monday, October 8, 2012

  • Norwich are not a Prem side no class players all championship players it looks like sad time ahead for City going to get relegated Houghton wrong choice of manager D smith and here board don't like paying the money that is needed to stay in this league for get about the new stand plan for life back in the championship this board just have no idea how to run a club at this level and stay in the prem run by headles chickens.

    Report this comment

    DOBBY1970

    Monday, October 8, 2012

  • I agree 100% with JGL. To sack Hughton would be completely daft and unjustified. Is this going to be our reaction each time we embark on a bad run? Give the man a chance and get behind him.

    Report this comment

    Mellow_Yellow

    Monday, October 8, 2012

  • Norwich are not a Prem side no class players all championship players it looks like sad time ahead for City going to get relegated Houghton wrong choice of manager D smith and here board don't like paying the money that is needed to stay in this league for get about the new stand plan for life back in the championship this board just have no idea how to run a club at this level and stay ther club run by headles chickens.

    Report this comment

    DOBBY1970

    Monday, October 8, 2012

  • One of the marks of a good manager is how he reacts when things are not right. I hope Hughton has a plan B and that it entails a bit more emphasis on attacking options. He also needs to get the defence organised not just try and pack it with midfield players and think out a substitution policy should his team ever approach the last ten minutes of a game only two games behind. Although we have not seen it yet, I suspect that if Norwich were one goal up in the last twenty minutes, having dominated a game, Hughton would try and sit on the lead like Worthy at The Millenium.

    Report this comment

    waclor

    Monday, October 8, 2012

  • Sorry, meant to type OVER the last third of last season.

    Report this comment

    Johnny Gavin Lives

    Monday, October 8, 2012

  • should have never given Houghton the managers job not a premir manger should have gone for a manger from aboard same old story the board won't pay the money . the board don't deserve to have a club in the prem . but the fans do let down again by Smith and for board.

    Report this comment

    DOBBY1970

    Monday, October 8, 2012

  • Hughton is not a premiership manager, like Warnock, tactically out of his depth and no passion, he must be sacked now, it's so obvious McNally, DO IT

    Report this comment

    Canaryinslovenia

    Sunday, October 7, 2012

  • I agree with Howson it wasn't all bad on Saturday at least we didn't have to watch Turner and who knows CH might do a PL ( no I don't mean get us to twelth place in the Prem. I mean walk out on us) how good would that be.

    Report this comment

    leslie cater

    Sunday, October 7, 2012

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

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