JOHN Carver says he’s finally got his feet under the table at Newcastle United – a month after Alan Pardew’s departure.
Carver was this week named as the club’s head coach until the end of the season.
Up to his appointment, the 50-year-old hadn’t sat in the seat vacated by Pardew – or parked in the space reserved for the club’s manager.
But Carver – who had been Pardew’s assistant – now works from Pardew’s old office and parks in the space marked ‘manager’ directly in front of the entrance to the club’s Benton training ground.
He does NOT see himself as a caretaker – despite only having the job until the end of the campaign.
Asked if he considering himself a caretaker or head coach, Carver said: “Head coach – 100 per cent.
“I’ll tell you why, because I parked in the head coach’s parking spot and I’m in the manager’s office.
“I’ve actually been in the office, more or less from the start of this process, but I never sat in the manager’s seat.
“I kept out of it on purpose, but once it became official, I plonked myself straight on it.”
Carver still harbours ambitions of succeeding Pardew on a full-time basis, but, for the moment, he isn’t looking beyond the next game, this afternoon’s televised match against Hull City at the KC Stadium.
And he believes the end of the uncertainty will help him focus his players on the task in hand.
“It was relief first, because, I was a little bit frustrated – and you could tell,” said Carver.
“But when he (United managing director Lee Charnley) actually said it to me, the relief was ‘thank goodness, because now the players can really get focused’.
“No matter how good the people are around you, you can still be a little bit distracted by the fact that it is not a permanent appointment.
“So the first initial thought was relief, then the ecstasy and the pride and the happiness took over.
“It’s very difficult to sometimes put things in to words. I am a local lad, I have come through the system, I have worked at every level, I have been out of the country and I have come back in.
“There was an opportunity, and it’s now up to me to take that opportunity.
“The one thing I will say is, I will give this every single ounce of my energy that i have got.
“Come the end of the season if it doesn’t come off, at least I’ll be able to sit here and say ‘I gave it my best shot – I had a go’.
“That is the downside of it. but the upside of it is, I have got an opportunity here that millions of people would love to have.
“And I have got it because of what people think of me – people who have worked with me, people who have played with me and understand me.
“And all those people who say all the nice things, I listen to.
“There are going to be people out there who are going to have a go at me, and they are entitled to that.
“But when you get to know me and see me working on the training ground and you understand what I’m all about, then you’ll understand.”