Norwich City new-boy Jonny Howson believes the Canaries can reap the benefits of his enforced injury lay-off over the Premier League run-in.

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The 23-year-old made his senior debut in Saturday’s defeat at Stoke after a frustrating spell on the sidelines with a knee problem either side of his January transfer switch from Leeds. Howson has had plenty of time to study the secrets of City’s top flight success and aims to play a full part in the club’s seasonal finale.

“I can’t believe there are only 11 or 12 games to go, because for me it feels like we’re in the middle of the season, in a way,” he said. “It does feel a little bit like pre-season, but it’s just one of those things. It is part and parcel and I’m sure it may not be the last time I’m injured.

“I had an idea before I came here of the type of team they were, but I’ve got to know them a bit more since. They are a good bunch of lads, a good management team and even after the first few days down here I realised how much the team spirit and the work ethic stood out, first and foremost. They’ve all got the ability, for how well they’ve done this season, but in every game and every day on the training ground you can see it’s always about maintaining high standards.”

Howson’s 75-minute outing at the Britannia was his first-ever taste of Premier League football.

“From what I’ve seen and even from my little experience of playing Premier League teams, they just seem to have that bit more quality,” he said. “If they get chances, they seem to put them away, especially at each end of the pitch, in each box, it just picks up the speed that much quicker, whether you’re defending or attacking. The ball moves that bit quicker, they find those tighter gaps and when chances are there, nine times out of 10 the top players put them away.

“Every game is a tough game, it’s a different challenge each week as well. The higher up you go, teams can mix it up at different stages and you’ve got to be ready for that and ready for the different aspects of their game.”

Howson’s immediate priority remains forcing his way into a congested midfield over the closing weeks, but he also harbours longer term international ambitions. The ex-England U21 starlet is convinced sustained success at Carrow Road can only help the likes of John Ruddy and Grant Holt force their way into the picture.

“I think for every professional to play for your country would be a great honour and an ambition. I’m no different to that. But it’s something I’ve not thought about,” he said. “At this minute in time it’s just a case of keeping my fitness levels up in training, working hard, and just see where it goes.”

“My main focus is on Norwich City.

“I read a stat about him (Holt) and Danny Graham being the two highest scorers that are uncapped so, yes, I think he was a bit unfortunate not to get a friendly call-up. He’s had a terrific season, especially with the goals and the performances. He’s one of the experienced lads and I’ve seen that you need people like that in dressing rooms. I’ve never been part of that England set-up so you’re not too sure if they’ve got many players like, but I’m sure it wouldn’t go amiss having someone like that around.”

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