Carver vows to keep fighting
Published 25/04/2015 | 21:46
Beleaguered Newcastle head coach John Carver is refusing to throw in the towel despite the Magpies being sucked into a Barclays Premier League survival fight.
The Tyneside club sat just five points clear of the drop zone on Saturday evening after a 3-2 home defeat by Swansea, their seventh in succession, something they have never suffered in the Premier League before.
They head for in-form Leicester next weekend desperately needing to halt that trend by denying Nigel Pearson's rejuvenated side a fifth win on the trot if they are to ease clear of the mire beneath them.
However, Carver, who has guided his team to just two victories in 16 attempts in all competitions since taking over from Alan Pardew, remains unbowed in the midst of a developing crisis.
He said: "It was a huge disappointment, a huge disappointment - but we are not ready to quit, not ready to pack in, not ready to thrown in the towel. That is very important, and that applies to me and the rest of my staff.
"Yes, I am getting stick from the crowd and I can take all that. I'll take that on the chin, I'll explain to people why I do things, I don't have a problem with that. If anybody wants to talk to me about it, I will talk to them about it. But I won't give up on it and I will fight to the end."
Carver's disappointment was compounded by the fact that Newcastle took a 20th-minute lead at St James' Park when striker Ayoze Perez claimed his first goal since December 28, and they were still leading when fans rose to protest against owner Mike Ashley's stewardship in the 34th minute - a reference to the £34million the club banked during the last financial year.
However, they conceded - as they had looked like doing for some time - from a set-play when Nelson Oliveira headed home his first Swansea goal in first-half injury-time, and the visitors never looked back as Gylfi Sigurdsson and Jack Cork increased their lead before substitute Siem de Jong's late consolation strike.
Asked about what lies ahead, Carver said: "I have got to try and make those guys feel 10 foot tall, as much as I can. Sometimes it is quite difficult, but it is my job and my responsibility to try and pick them up and do that."
In contrast, Swansea boss Garry Monk left St James' with a third successive victory on Tyneside under his belt and the club's best ever Premier League points total of 50 with four games still to play.
But asked if his players had exceeded expectations, Monk said: "No, I want more, always push for more.
"I just knew if I could get the players to commit to the hard work I have asked them to do from the start of the season that we could get to something like this.
"It's a hard road to get to there, but I am always the type that will demand more - they know that, the players and everyone at the club, so my job now is to make sure that we finish the season with some more wins, if possible, and more points.
"There's no point in just beating the record, you want to try to surpass it and make it difficult for anyone to catch us or for us to surpass it again next season.
"That's what I'm trying to lay down now."
Monk did, however, have a few words of comfort for Carver.
He added: "They have got quality players. Newcastle have the quality, for sure, and John is doing as good as job as he can and pushing the players, and they will be fine."