Thursday, December 13, 2012
Jonny Howson admits it is almost an alien feeling for the Norwich City dressing room to taste defeat – but it will be business as usual in terms of continuing their Premier League form.
There was no doubt Tuesday ’s 4-1 Capital One League Cup quarter-final to Paul Lambert’s Aston Villa was a painful one for the majority of those inside Carrow Road.
It was the Canaries’ first taste of defeat since October 6 and another 4-1 loss, to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in the Premier League 11 games ago.
And while their cup upset will hurt, Norwich’s big task now is to protect their excellent nine-game unbeaten run in the top flight when Wigan visit Carrow Road on Saturday.
“Yes it possibly is a weird feeling, but it’s just the same as any other time that you have been beaten,” said Howson. “It’s never nice, even more so on your own patch, but it’s part of the game and you have got to learn how to deal with this and then to move on.
“It’s been a terrific run and hopefully we can keep the league form going, and as professional footballers you always know when there are certain things you could have done better on the night.
“It was one of those nights when it could have gone either way and we will get back on the training ground and move on. It’s part and parcel of the game.”
City’s current run has been built on their defensive resolve – something that showed signs of weakening despite a marvellous 4-3 victory in Swansea at the weekend.
Another four goals conceded to Villa, who have not been prolific in front of goal so far this term, may cause a few nerves among supporters – but Howson is not unduly worried.
“I wouldn’t say it’s worry,” said Howson. “It has been a terrific run that we have been on, and the majority of it has been built on a defensive record. It’s only two games where that has slipped and we won one of those games.
“But yes, I think when you come up against good sides, if you switch off for a few seconds they can punish you and we saw that against Villa.
“But it’s a good group here and I’m sure we will bounce back after a disappointing defeat.”
While defeat was a disappointment on Tuesday as Wes Hoolahan and Alex Tettey missed their second games through minor injuries, on a personal note Howson has been able to enjoy a return to the Canaries’ starting XI for the games with Swansea and Villa – having had to make to with a place on the bench since the Chelsea loss.
“I could have few complaints about not playing because we were on an unbeaten run and everyone playing was doing very well,” admitted Howson.
“But these last two games it’s been nice to get back out there playing and we will see what happens from here.”