Norwich City's Jonny Howson claims Aston Villa not too big to be relegated

Jonny Howson: Norwich midfielder not surprised to see bigger clubs struggling

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Norwich City's Jonny Howson insists that Aston Villa are not too big to be relegated as the two clubs prepare for a crucial meeting on Saturday.

The encounter will see Villa boss Paul Lambert return to Carrow Road for the second time since he left the Norfolk club last summer.

His first appearance at Norwich following his acrimonious departure was a 4-1 win in the Capital One Cup last October, but his new club have struggled in the Premier League until a recent good run of form.

Villa trail the Canaries by one point ahead of Saturday's match, but Howson, signed by Lambert in 2012, feels that a club's history and reputation count for nothing in a relegation dogfight.

"I don't think you are ever surprised to see a club of Villa's size down there, especially in the last 10 years when you look at the size of clubs that have gone down," said the 24-year-old.

"Sunderland and Newcastle are down there and they are big clubs.

"I have played for Leeds so I know all about it. They were arguably the first of the big clubs to go in the Premier League era. No-one is too big to go down."

Reflecting on Norwich's fortunes this term, Howson added: "Have we made progress this season? If we stay in the league I think it's job done. It's the objective."