Speaking in South Africa, Howard said, "I have fond memories of the Confederations Cup. We had another very hard group and I remember the tournament being important at that stage of my development [as a player].
"I enjoyed it because it was a big occasion. It was in France, the stadiums were packed and it was the highest level of competition possible. Anytime you can do that you take a lot out of it, and I certainly did.
"Any Confederations Cup group is going to be very difficult; it's the tournament of champions, really.
"We have our work cut out for us. We didn't get out of our group last time and obviously that's the goal.
"Once you're out of your group you're within touching distance of getting to the final. So the goal is to advance, but it is one step at a time. We have three difficult games and we're going to certainly have to focus on Italy and not look too far forward."