Alex Neil singles out Jonny Howson for special treatment at Norwich City

Fit-again midfielder Jonny Howson made his presence felt against Brentford. Picture by Paul Chestert

Fit-again midfielder Jonny Howson made his presence felt against Brentford. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Jonny Howson sparked Norwich's great leap forward for Alex Neil.

The fit-again midfielder inspired a thumping 5-0 Championship win over Brentford to end a run of five league defeats after recovering from an ankle injury.

Howson was the pick of a glittering cast list for Neil, which included another of his returning key men, Ivo Pinto.

'What an outstanding game Jonny had. Look at his energy and I thought him and Ivo showed how important they are to us,' he said. 'From one to 11 they all performed but for two lads to come in after being out for six or seven weeks I was delighted. The points we pick up with them in the side is there for everyone to see so if you take them out of the side we miss them.

'You have to try and get everybody believing and I think this was a big step forward for us. Without doubt the best performance of the season. What we have done of late has not been good enough. It has to be the start of a good run and we can put that horrendous November to bed.'

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Alex Pritchard also grabbed his chance to impress.

'I have always gone for Wes in the 10 role but I just felt Alex was due an opportunity,' said Neil. 'We weren't getting results or playing particularly well and to fair to the wee man he responded and put in a great performance.'

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