Updated: Jonny Howson's season-ending knee injury caps Norwich City's miserable 1-0 Premier League Manchester United defeat
PUBLISHED: 15:54 07 May 2016 | UPDATED: 17:41 07 May 2016
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Alex Neil confirmed Jonny Howson is the latest Norwich City casualty after suffering knee ligament damage in the closing stages of a 1-0 Premier League defeat to Manchester United which pushed the Canaries closer to relegation.
Howson departed after opening up his right knee in a block tackle with Michael Carrick and will join Alex Tettey (ankle), Andre Wisdom (knee) and Timm Klose (knee) in playing no further part in the club’s survival battle.
Juan Mata’a 72nd minute strike, after fresh defensive hesitancy from the hosts, combined with Sunderland’s comeback 3-2 win at home to Chelsea mean Norwich will be relegated on Wednesday night, when they host Watford, if the Black Cats beat Everton on the same evening.
Newcastle now occupy the final relegation spot after a 0-0 draw at already relegated Aston Villa. Rafa Benitez’s men play their final game of the season next weekend against Tottenham.
“It is the same old story for us this season,“ said Neil. “We have said too many times we are in the game. Those first 10 or 15 minutes we applied really good pressure, had a good chance and few other bits and pieces in and about their box and we got our tails up, but generally when good teams have those spells they get a goal. We didn’t get the goal. I thought we limited them to very little, even if they had a lot of possession. John Ruddy did not have a save to make but it comes off the back of a mistake, which has been common place for us.
“It is not over but it is a major blow. The best thing we can hope for is by the close of play today we are still in touching distance. If we are not, it looks a really tough situation.
“Jonny has opened his knee up, which is going to be a massive blow for us. Obviously he is a key player for us and he is going to miss the next two games. That is his season. I am not going to use the injuries as an excuse because other teams have to deal with that. The guys on the pitch will be the first to tell you they want to play so go out there and make the difference. Obviously when you are one of the smaller teams then missing key players is going to hurt, it makes it doubly difficult, but Timm has missed five games. Alex is the longer term one.”