Norwich City’s new midfielder Howson targets injury comeback within the month
You sense it won't take long for Jonny Howson to settle into the Norfolk way of life.
Howson's move from Leeds was a pragmatic football decision designed to satisfy his wanderlust to play in the Premier League.
But it appears the 23-year-old has also discovered a home from home after swapping the Yorkshire Dales for the rugged beauty of Nelson's county. City's newest acquisition is not one for the bright lights; more the river bank – which in turn reveals a nice line in self-deprecation.
'I'm more a fine weather fisherman but in my days off I would like to give it a try around here. I have heard about a few different places so I'll give it a try,' he said. 'If I'm just going for the odd day it's a bit of coarse; if I've got a few days spare I don't mind going for the overnighter and the bigger stuff.
'The biggest fish I've caught was 14 and a quarter pounds back in Leeds. No doubt I'll get some stick for this (off the lads) and that is not the reason I have come down here.'
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Howson consulted players past and present with Norwich affiliations before backing his gut instinct that Norwich is the perfect place for the next phase of his career after emerging through the ranks at Elland Road.
'I spoke to Bradley (Johnson) when I came down last week, not just Bradley but other people who have been at the club in the past and know what a terrific club it is and a great place to live as well,' he said. 'Everyone I spoke to has just got good things to say about the club and the place itself. I spoke to Bradley and Andrew Hughes, who used to be here a few seasons ago, just about the people in the training ground and the staff and the players. They've all got positive things to say.
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'It's what I've been wanting for the past season or so, so once the chance came about it was something I couldn't turn down. It was a great opportunity for me. It was always hard moving the first time, and it is something new to me. It's all I have known. I've been close to some of the staff and people, so it was hard leaving from that aspect, but from a career and footballing point of view, when that chance came about, I was very pleased by it.'
Howson was at the training ground before 9am yesterday morning to continue the rehabilitation process on a knee injury that has kept him out since early December.
The former Leeds' skipper knows getting back to full fitness is only half the battle; he then has to force his way into Paul Lambert's midfield mix.
'I guess the majority of teams are all like that – competition for places,' he said. 'My first thing is to get back fit and get back on the training pitch and see where we go from there. I'm aware of how well they've been doing so it's going to be tough no matter what. That's what you want – competition for places.
'I've started doing a little bit of strengthening. When I first did it they gave it two or three months. We're close to two months now so I'm just aiming to carry on. The main thing is I've no reaction from it and it's going along nicely. I'm a central midfielder, ideally, and I like to get forward and chip in with a few goals now and then but at the same time I'm more of a team player, helping others out and working together, I'd say that's my main asset – leading from the front and setting an example.'