Audio: Jonny Howson modest over ‘nice’ Norwich City praise
The praise for his performance against Everton on Saturday was as impressive as the 90 minutes from Jonny Howson.
City boss Paul Lambert, an international midfielder with Scotland and Champions League winner at Borussia Dortmund, called the ex-Leeds captain's efforts one of the best midfield he had seen – topped off with a first Norwich goal since joining in January.
But like most of Lambert's Norwich recruits, the words appeared to wash over the Yorkshireman who was clearly beaming at his goal yet is still just glad to be back playing after three months out from a winter knee injury earlier in the season.
'Well it's obviously very nice when you hear comments like that, but it's just one game,' said Howson. 'It is very tough at this level. Every game is, because it's such a high standard.
'I am fairly pleased with how it's gone up to now. I may have had some decent performances and it's just a case of keeping work hard. But when you have got quality players around you it does make it easier for yourself.
'There is Wes (Hoolahan), Andrew Surman, (David) Fox there in the midfield and Elliott Bennett. When you have players like that, they are all willing to work hard and if you all keep chipping in it makes everyone else's job a little bit easier.'
Howson was handed an advanced role off captain Grant Holt and made it count when Wes Hoolahan's low centre teed him in front of the Barclay for a first-half tap-in, to bring City level for the first time on Saturday.
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'It was a nice moment,' said Howson. 'In the past few games I've had chances that I should have arguably done better with, so it's nice that it was put on a plate from Wes.
'It was one of those that you couldn't miss, but it was just nice to be on the score sheet. It's part of my game, getting forward, and there was less responsibility on me to get back today, so it was nice in that aspect.
'Most of all I am pleased with how we have done as a team. We have come back twice against a very good Everton side, that's the most pleasing thing.
'The second half was end to end, both sides were going for it and I'm sure it was a good game to watch. It showed the character of the lads, that we never give up and arguably we could've gone on and win the game.
'But it's a good point here against a team bang in form with top class players, and we should be very proud of this performance.'
Howson admitted he is enjoying playing with City cult hero Holt, given his past experiences of playing against him.
He added: 'He puts himself about. He is non-stop and it's very good to be playing with him. I have run into him before and sometimes it makes your job that bit easier when you have players like that around you.
'Even when I have played against him, I think rightly so he is getting the credit he deserves for his goals. The short time I have been here and worked with him, you can see why he is getting the rewards he rightfully deserves at the minute.'
So should that include an England call ahead of this summer's European Championships in Poland and Ukraine?
'I think so, yes. He is the second highest English scorer in the league behind Wayne Rooney, so if you are choosing players on form he should be picked. And as you say, with the work he puts in he is only going to add to any side.'
It is a quick turnaround for the Canaries as they travel to Tottenham on Easter Monday afternoon, but Howson has no fears over playing twice in the space of three days.
Howson added: 'Coming from the Championship, you take part in a lot of games there so I think we are prepared for it, and the way that our sports scientists and fitness coaches prepare you and look after you, it puts you in good stead. So credit goes to them in situations like this.'