While Everton have been credited for their slick style of football for much of the season, Howard is glad that the team still has the ability to grind out results.
"You don't mind it being a bit scrappy every now and then because you almost want the confirmation that we've got it in us," the American told the Liverpool Echo.
"We know we can play good football but we never want to get away from that Everton fighting spirit, that ability to dig in. Games like this remind us that's still in us which is important."
Everton's Premier League campaign continues on Wednesday night when they welcome Crystal Palace to Goodison Park.