Howson confident ahead of Cardiff

Despite his position as vice-captain, 22-year-old Jonny Howson is hardly a figure you’d expect to be rallying the troops and calling for some perspective from fans ahead of big games. However, with fluctuating results so far this season, the players and management have come in for some rather heavy criticism which has provoked a matured response from Leeds’ longest serving player.

Following on from Simon Grayson’s press-conference earlier this week, where he basically asked fans to get some perspective, Jonny Howson was showing a united front, telling the Yorkshire Evening Post that;

“This is no disrespect to anyone but it doesn’t matter too much what the fans or the press have to say. It matters to me what the other players and the coaching staff say. The manager and his coaches pick the team, they make the decisions, and as players you’re more interested in what they’re thinking.”

Howson goes on to add that whilst he believes paying fans are more than entitled to voice their opinions after abject performances on a cold, rain-swept Tuesday night, there will always be fans unhappy with the performance no matter how well Leeds United play and regardless of the scoreline.

Jonny also talks about the expectation levels which come with playing for a club as big as Leeds United;

“If you look at us as a team who’ve just got promoted, rather than as Leeds United with all the expectation, we were 10th in the league, three points off the play-offs, I’d say it’s not going badly at all.”

Jonny is quick to add, that whilst he believes mid-table to be a respectable finish to the season the club are still pushing to exceed that outcome.

Finally, the vice-skipper turns his attention to tonight’s game, where the big-names of Cardiff City will meet Leeds United at Elland Road. Jonny admits that Cardiff City have the bigger names, but doesn’t believe these players are any more able than their Leeds United counterparts.

I have to admit, he lost me a little with the final part – is Becchio really as good as Bellamy? Johnson as good as Koumas? – but footballers need confidence ahead of big games and Jonny clearly isn’t lacking in it. Let’s just wait and see if he can prove that theory tonight.