The manager revealed he reorganised his team into a more defensive shape to concede possession and attack Swansea on the counter, as Arsenal had done in their 3-0 away victory a week previous.
“We watched Arsenal, obviously, and the first half they conceded possession, and then they managed to hit them and hurt them on the counter-attack,” he said.
“I thought we did similar: first half our use of the ball wasn’t good enough, which meant we sat deeper and deeper, but (as the) second half wore on we were much more threatening going forward and it looked as if we could have scored more.”
Beyond Cameron Jerome’s ninth-minute effort, in which the striker somehow managed to head Robbie Brady’s masterful left-wing cross high and wide, threats on goal were almost non-existent.
Wes Hoolahan looked lively as he tried to add creativity to an otherwise-flat affair.
Howson’s goal came after 70 minutes. Brady won a corner when his shot, from the edge of the area, was saved by Fabianski, and from the resulting corner he crossed to substitute Dieumerci Mbokani, who headed into Howson’s path from where the midfielder nodded in with ease from the closest of range.
Swansea boss Garry Monk will be concerned his game-changers – Gylfi Sigurdsson, Jefferson Montero, Jonjo Shelvey and Bafetimbi Gomis – were again ineffective.
“We’re not as potent as we want at the moment, we’re arriving in those areas and we’re not quite making good use of them enough.
“That’s something for me to work with the players.”
Ruddy, Wisdom, Bennett, Bassong, Olsson, Howson, Tettey, O’Neil, Brady, Hoolahan (Mulumbu 90), Jerome (Mbokani 68).
Fabianski, Naughton, Fernandez, Williams, Taylor, Ki, Shelvey (Eder 87), Ayew, Sigurdsson (Britton 79), Montero (Routledge 64), Gomis.