Carver defends Newcastle players against pundits

Newcastle United manager John Carver.
Newcastle United manager John Carver.

JOHN Carver has hit back at criticism of Newcastle United’s under-performing players – by insisting they are giving him “everything”.

Carver’s side are in danger of being relegated from the Premier League after seven successive defeats.

One thing I will say about this group is that they are giving everything

John Carver

Club legend Alan Shearer labelled the team as an “embarrassment” in the wake of the weekend’s 3-2 home loss to Swansea City.

Shearer said: “The fact that Newcastle find themselves part of it (the relegation battle) is a terrible indictment of the players.

“They don’t seem to have an ounce of pride in wearing the famous black and white shirt. Shame on them.”

He added: “The players simply don’t look like they care.”

And Shearer’s former United winger Keith Gillespie said on Twitter: “Players need to seriously look at themselves. Attitude not good enough!”

Newcastle – who take on in-form Leicester City at the King Power Stadium on Saturday – are just five points above the relegation zone with four games left to play, and half of the six teams below them in the table have a game in hand.

But head coach Carver – who took charge in late December after Alan Pardew left for Crystal Palace has no complaints about the effort and commitment of his players – despite the club’s dire form.

“The one thing I will say about this group of people in there, is that they’re giving everything,” said Carver. “I think they gave everything (against Swansea).

“I don’t think they can give any more.

“Sometimes it isn’t good enough – we all know that – but at least they’re having a go and they never give in. They kept going until the end.”

Shearer was manager when the club was last relegation.

The club’s all-time record goalscorer was put in charge for the final eight games of the 2008-09 season, but Shearer, now a pundit on Match of the Day, didn’t have enough time to turn the club around.

Back then, he felt some players lacked the “drive” needed to successfully fight a relegation battle.

And Shearer feels some of Carver’s squad also lack that quality.

“I was in a similar position when I tried to keep the club up with eight games left of the 2008-09 season,” Shearer wrote in his column in The Sun.

“There were a number in that squad who also lacked the drive need to stay up, and in the end we went down.”