Jonny Howson not yet happy with his fitness levels at Norwich City
Jonny Howson admits he is not as fit as he would like to be following injury – but feels he is settling in nicely with the Canaries, despite not yet enjoying the taste of victory.
The 23-year-old made his second appearance – and second start – for Norwich City in their 1-0 defeat at Newcastle United on Sunday after a January move from Leeds United, having missed the chance of a home debut against Wigan a week earlier through illness.
Given the midfielder arrived in the middle of his recovery from a knee injury sustained in December, Howson only came into consideration for selection this month – making his debut at Stoke on March 3, another 1-0 defeat.
A bright first-half effort at St James' Park offered glimpses of what Howson is about, but as City prepare to face bottom club Wolves in Saturday's Premier League fixture at Carrow Road (3pm), the Yorkshireman is adamant there is plenty more to come.
'This was my second start and fitness-wise I'm still not where I would like to be,' said the former Leeds captain. 'But I'm learning from the experience and enjoying it. I just look forward to my first win now. It's only my second game anyway and I'm sure it will come.'
Having sampled Premier League football for the first time since coming through the ranks at Elland Road via League One and the Championship, the next few months will be a learning curve for Howson.
And he admitted the jump in level, coupled with his return to match sharpness, will see him take a few games to get up to speed.
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'I think it's a bit of both,' he acknowledged. 'It's a better standard than the Championship and I'm sure you have maybe got to be that bit fitter. But just in general I would like to be fitter.
'But that will come with the experience of the training ground and I'm sure I will pick that up very quickly. But as I said, I'd just like to keep improving all the time as all the lads will do here.
'I missed the game through illness last weekend, which I was obviously disappointed about, but it's one of those things.'
Wolves arrive as City look for their first win in six matches and while Howson wants to taste victory for the first time as a Canary, it was an earlier milestone that truly helped him to settle into his new surroundings.
'I'm not too sure whether the win would help – I can probably answer that when it comes – but it's not something I am too concerned about,' added Howson.
'Obviously I would like to get that win sooner rather than later but the thing that did really settle me down more than anything was actually getting back playing.
'I've done that now and my input now is just what I can give to help the side out.'
Wolves have collected just one point from their last five Premier League games, and have conceded five goals in three of them, losing 5-0 at home to Manchester United last Sunday. City, meanwhile, have hit a lean run of their own, taking just one point out of the last 12 available.
Manager Paul Lambert was on Friday expected to give an update on the fitness of long-term absentees Daniel Ayala (hamstring), Marc Tierney (knee) and James Vaughan (hamstring), as well as Anthony Pilkington, substituted five minutes from time at Newcastle with a hamstring problem.