Saturday 24 March 2018

Carver: We didn't bottle it

John Carver has rejected suggestions Newcastle lost their nerve as they were beaten 2-1 at QPR
John Carver has rejected suggestions Newcastle lost their nerve as they were beaten 2-1 at QPR

John Carver has rejected suggestions Newcastle "bottled it" in squandering the chance to secure their Premier League safety at already-relegated QPR.

Emmanuel Riviere's first Premier League goal in 22 appearances handed Newcastle control at the break at Loftus Road on Saturday, only for Matt Phillips and Leroy Fer to swipe a 2-1 victory for QPR.

Newcastle wasted the chance to cement their Premier League status, extending their winless streak to 10 games. Now Carver's men face a nerve-wracking final-day survival clash with West Ham next weekend.

Magpies manager Carver conceded a "10-minute mad spell" had cost his side victory, but refused to accept Newcastle's players lost their nerve at the crucial moment.

"I'm not so sure about 'bottled it'. We had a 10-minute mad spell in the game," said Carver.

"In the first half we were in control not under any threat.

"But then we shot ourselves in the foot again in that 10 minutes after half-time.

"It was in our hands today and we could have put it to bed today."

Newcastle host West Ham on Sunday where victory would secure their top-flight status, while Hull are still battling for their lives but face a daunting clash with Manchester United.

Under-fire boss Carver came in for more criticism from disgruntled Toon fans at Loftus Road, the travelling supporters chanting "we're s*** and we're sick of it".

Carver called on Newcastle's fans to shelve their frustrations until after next weekend, leaving any "post-mortem" until after their fate is sealed.

"This is the biggest game this football club has had for a long, long time," said Carver of the West Ham clash.

"I want the same atmosphere we had against West Brom a fortnight ago.

"Because it could be the fans who actually get us across the line and keep our Premier League status.

"That's the way they were against West Brom and it made a difference to the team.

"There will be a lot of people asking 'why should they?', but it's because they want us to stay in the Premier League. If it can give us that extra five or 10 per cent to stay in the Premier League, then we need it.

"And once we get the game out of the way, and we have our Premier League status, then we can have our post-mortem and we'll deal with that."

Rangers boss Chris Ramsey hailed his side for atoning for last week's 6-0 drubbing at Manchester City - and also making a statement ahead of next season.

Ramsey is still hoping to secure the QPR job on a permanent basis for next term's return to the Championship, and views this victory as a boost to his chances.

"We've had a lot of good support from the fans who have been very loyal in what they've done," said Ramsey.

"Last week we didn't perform in a way that befits a club of this stature, and the travelling fans were embarrassed away from home at Man City.

"We gave away another sloppy goal, but the players came back in the second-half and really put it in for the fans and the owners on our last home game.

"It was really important for us to finish well here and show that next season we're hoping to redress the situation and make sure that the club is on an even keel and also trying its best to get back to this decision.

"There was no screaming and shouting at half-time, sometimes the players themselves dig deep and they realised that we didn't want to go away from here after being relegated with an even worse taste in our mouths.

"We wanted to make sure people have positive feelings across the summer."

After already experiencing the pain of relegation this season, Ramsey believes Newcastle will still have enough to beat the drop.

"All managers know what it's like when things don't go well," said Ramsey.

"John Carver's a good man and I'm sure he'll get his troops back for the battle to stay up next week."

Press Association

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