Leeds United skipper Jonny Howson says the fans are not understanding the defensive side of his midfield play this season.
Howson scored eleven times last season when Leeds played a 4-5-1 system with him playing in behind the striker.
With manager Simon Grayson reverting to a 4-4-2 this season, Howson is playing alongside Adam Clayton in the centre of midfield in a more defensive role.
Speaking in the Yorkshire Evening Post, Howson said, “Playing two in there (in central midfield), if me and Adam both move forward, we`d possibly concede more goals. It is a disciplined role; sometimes when you are eager to get forward if you are on the break, you have to think: ‘I need to hold here` and let the wide players and two forwards take care of things.
From a fans` point of view, it would be great if I was running forward every time and scoring goals. Sometimes, fans don`t see the other side.
But I`m sure the team and management staff see the job of me playing in that safety valve role. Maybe it`s not very entertaining for fans, but if we are claiming good results and wins from it, I don`t mind.”
Howson is yet to score this season, whilst midfield partner Adam Clayton has been taking all the plaudits having netted four times, including a stunning winner at Leicester City last time out.
Leeds boss Simon Grayson spoke out last week when he said he couldn`t understand the criticism that was being aimed in the direction of Howson. Grayson also speaking in the Yorkshire Evening Post, said, ‘It amazes me when people criticise Jonny because he goes about his business in a quiet manner.
Other people will always get the plaudits, but he does everything that you ask him to do.
He`s a pleasure to work with and leads by example. He`s not one to steam into tackles, but he works and presses and breaks things up and plays when he gets the chance to. Jonny is a top player.’
Howson will lead Leeds out at Burnley on Saturday and he will be hoping for a repeat of last season, when he scored a superb winner as Leeds came from two goals down at half time to win 3-2.
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