Norwich go to relegation-threatened Wigan six positions and seven points ahead of the league's 18th-placed side, yet midfielder Howson, confined to a role on the bench for periods of the current campaign, is aware that defeat could suck the Canaries into danger.
Howson said: "The season was always going to go down to the wire and if you start to look too far ahead you can get caught out.
"It is a big game with Wigan down there but we'll keep working hard and hopefully we'll be okay. You have to have the mentality that you will survive."
It is Howson's first full season at Carrow Road, having been signed from Leeds in January 2012 - and he has made 22 appearances from 30 league matches this season, eight of them as a substitute.
Howson said: "I would have loved to have played more games but it is about the team. If it was up to me I would be playing every single week but sometimes you learn from not playing.
"It makes you stronger as a player and when you get the chance you have got to take it or you will be back on the sidelines. Your job on the bench is to keep others on their toes."
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