Howson adamant Norwich could have beaten Aston Villa

The Canaries suffered a heavy 4-1 defeat to Paul Lambert's side, but a string of missed chances, particularly from Steve Morison, saw them hamper their own chances of progression
Jonny Howson is convinced that Norwich had enough chances to beat Aston Villa in the Capital One Cup quarter-final on Tuesday night, despite falling to a 4-1 defeat.

The match saw Paul Lambert return to Carrow Road for the first time since leaving Norwich in the summer, and it appeared he would be in for a long night as Steve Morison gave the hosts the lead in the first half, although it did not last long.

Brett Holman hit back within two minutes, while a late double from Andreas Weimann and a Christian Benteke belter secured a place in the semi-finals for Lambert’s side, but the score was harsh on Norwich as Howson affirmed.

Speaking to reporters after the match, Howson said: “I think it was a fairly even game with both teams going at it for large parts of it. I think it could have swung both ways, so we are disappointed, particularly to lose at home.

“But at the end of the day it doesn’t matter too much. Whether they win by one or win by five, it doesn’t matter in the cup. It’s all about getting through and we haven’t done that.”

In the build-up to the tie, Norwich had gone 10 matches without a defeat, a run that included victories over Arsenal, Tottenham and Manchester United, but Howson does not feel that streak coming to an end made the loss any worse than normal.
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“It’s the same as any other time when you have been beaten,” he continued. “It’s not nice, particularly on your own patch, but it is a part of the game.

“You’ve got to learn to deal with it and learn to move on. It has been a terrific run and hopefully we can keep the league form going.”

One of Norwich’s main strengths during the unbeaten run was defensive solidarity, but the Canaries have now let in seven goals in two matches, which Howson attributes to a loss of focus.

He said: “It has been a terrific run we have been on, the unbeaten run. The majority of it has been down to the defensive record.

“When you come up against good sides, if you switch off for a few seconds then they can punish you. Maybe we have seen that tonight, but it’s a good group here and I’m sure we’ll bounce back after this defeat.”