Carver hopes to flesh out bare bones Newcastle United

UNDER-FIRE ... John Carver.
UNDER-FIRE ... John Carver.

JOHN Carver is hopeful of fleshing out a Newcastle United squad which has been stripped down to the “bare bones”.

Carver hopes to have Remy Cabella and Rob Elliot back for next Sunday’s Premier League game against Everton.

We are down to the bare bones, especially defenders

Newcastle boss John Carver

Massadio Haidara is battling to return from the knee problem which kept him out of Wednesday night’s 1-0 home defeat to Manchester United.

Jack Colback – who has served a two-match ban – will be available for the club’s visit to Goodison Park.

And head coach Carver is hopeful the squad will be in a better shape by the back end of next week, though he has lost leading scorer Papiss Demba Cisse to a seven-match ban.

“What we need are a few days recovery,” said Carver, who has lost several players to season-ending injuries.

“We’re down to the bare bones, especially defenders. We’ll give them a few days off, and then we’ll have a good seven or eight days to prepare for Everton.

“By the time we get to Everton we could have two or three players back.

“Remy Cabella’s looking like he could be back with us, Robbie Elliot could be back in the squad.

“We could have one or two people back, which is good news, and Jack Colback, because he’s been suspended.”

Midfielder Cabella has been sidelined for more than a month with a knee problem, while goalkeeper Elliot tore a thigh in December while deputising for Tim Krul.

Defender Haidara had an injection last week after being forced off against Aston Villa at St James’s Park.

Midfielder Colback missed the fixtures against Man United and Villa after picking up his 10th booking of the season in last month’s 5-0 defeat to Manchester City.

Meanwhile, Cisse will serve the first game of his suspension next weekend.

The 11-goal striker accepted a Football Association charge of spitting over an incident with Man United’s Jonny Evans.

Evans, however, denies the charge.