Sport Soccer

Monday 23 April 2018

Carver given no assurances over job

John Carver has no indication whether or not he will be in charge of Newcastle next season
John Carver has no indication whether or not he will be in charge of Newcastle next season

John Carver has insisted he has not been told he will be Newcastle head coach next season - but is desperate for that to be the case.

Rumours have spread around the city in the last week that the 50-year-old, currently in charge until the end of the campaign, has already been told he will be appointed as Alan Pardew's successor despite continuing speculation that Derby boss Steve McClaren is leading the race for the St James' Park hot-seat.

However, the man himself is adamant he has been given no indication that his reign will extend beyond the remaining five games of this season.

Asked if he had got the job, he replied: "Absolutely not. On the Gospel, I haven't been told that.

"We have had discussions about ongoing issues at the club, and I have regular meetings with [managing director] Lee [Charnley] and [chief scout] Graham [Carr] at least once a week.

"But I have not been given any assurances or been told what my situation is next season."

Carver, of course, has five years of an eight-year contract remaining and sees his future at his home-town club regardless of whether or not he is appointed.

But despite a dreadful run of results - aided in no small part by injuries and suspensions - which has seen the Magpies lose six league games on the trot, he still feels he is in contention.

He said: "I feel in contention, absolutely - why wouldn't I? I'm not a defeatist. I'm a positive guy and I'm not going to write myself off.

"The club know the situation. A lot of people might write me off. A lot of ex-players and pundits might - they're entitled to do that. They don't see the work I do every day to prepare the team, but people on the inside do."

Nevertheless, Carver will have to engineer a significant up-turn in results if he is to stand any chance of winning over his critics, and that remains his immediate focus.

He said: "Only they [the hierarchy] know, but every time I get together with them, they are positive.

"Whether that's to keep me going or they have someone else lined up, I don't know. That doesn't affect me. The future will take care of itself. I'm just concentrating on now."

Carver is fighting for his future at a time when fans are in open revolt over the way the club is being run, with activists calling for a 34th-minute protest during the Swansea game - a reference to the £34million the club banked during the last financial year - as well as peaceful demonstrations outside branches of owner Mike Ashley's Sports Direct chain.

Thousands boycotted last Sunday's 3-1 home defeat by Tottenham as they made their feelings known about the club's perceived lack of investment in recent seasons, and the delay in appointing Pardew's replacement.

Carver is well aware of the strength of feeling and admits a swift resolution of his position and a concerted early foray into the summer transfer market are required to address the situation.

He said: "That would be for everyone's benefit. The fans, myself, everyone could enjoy their summer.

"I think it will be [resolved quickly] because don't forget the window opens very soon after the season finishes. It has to be done and your recruitment has to be done in that period of time."

In the meantime, Carver and his players will have to deal with whatever comes their way on Saturday, with the head coach admitting he was surprised at the magnitude of last weekend's boycott.

He said: "Yes, I was surprised. I didn't think it would be as many people. We have to find a way of dealing with it and managing the situation because it can only hurt us - that is the fans and the club.

"We need to find a solution."

Press Association

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport