Norwich City’s thick skin will help them ride out supporters’ stick, vows Jonny Howson – despite the play-offs now looking the Canaries’ best bet for a Premier League return

Jonny Howson celebrates scoring Norwich City's equaliser on Friday - but that was as good as things

Jonny Howson celebrates scoring Norwich City's equaliser on Friday - but that was as good as things got. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Norwich City’s players have the thick skin to brush off the boo boys and dig themselves out of their Championship hole.

That’s according to Jonny Howson, who captained a side that following Friday’s defeat to Huddersfield was booed off at Carrow Road – and not for the first time this season.

That loss prompted manager Alex Neil to admit City’s automatic promotion hopes may well be over already – underlined by wins for Newcastle and Brighton on Saturday that extended their leads over Norwich to 16 and 15 points respectively.

Neil remains under pressure, while Howson acknowledged the current atmosphere is not conducive to what would usually bring success.

“No it’s not,” he said. “I’ve had it a few times in my career now and I must admit, sometimes when you are younger it does affect you. There’s no lying about that.

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“I’m not saying me personally, but I’ve had it a few times in my career and it’s part and parcel of it.

“It’s up to them if they voice their opinion and sometimes it’s acceptable. But the best thing – which can be difficult at times – is to all stick together. That’s the best way to go forward.

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“But we’ve got an experienced bunch in there that are strong enough that they can take it. Whether it’s right or wrong, that doesn’t matter. You’ve got to be thick-skinned, if you like, to play this game.”

City return to action at Reading on Boxing Day – but not to Carrow Road until next year’s visit from Derby, on January 2.

Howson added: “There’s still a long way to go. I don’t know the stats from last time but it was January we went on a terrific run and managed to get promoted. OK we’re a fair few points off the top two, but there are still the play-offs we can aim for.

“We’re almost halfway through the season now so yeah, it’s not great to have that many (nine) defeats at this stage. But there’s still a long way to go.”

• Follow Michael Bailey on Twitter @michaeljbailey and Facebook @mbjourno

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