Carver: Sir Bobby Robson felt I would one day manage Newcastle

Newcastle United Assistant Manager John Carver
Newcastle United Assistant Manager John Carver

JOHN Carver says the late Sir Bobby Robson always felt he would one day manage Newcastle United.

But Carver, put in temporary charge of the club, wouldn’t be drawn on whether he wanted to succeed Crystal Palace-bound Alan Pardew.

The 49-year-old will be in the dugout for this afternoon’s home game against Burnley.

Carver, Pardew’s No2, worked alongside Sir Bobby during his five years at St James’s Park.

And he has revealed that Sir Bobby told him to take the opportunity of managing United if the job ever came up.

Newcastle managing director Lee Charnley will now draw up a shortlist of candidates for the post for consideration by owner Mike Ashley – and Carver is likely to be on it.

Asked if Robson ever saw him as a future Newcastle manager, Carver said: “He definitely saw me as a future Newcastle manager, because he once said to me if the opportunity ever came up, don’t be scared of it.”

Carver says he is determined to seize his chance at the club – however long it lasts.

“For some reason, I started reading Sir Bobby’s autobiography (on Tuesday night,” he said. “I read about me and Bellers (Craig Bellamy) at the airport and all that. It was quite funny.

“There was a message on the front of the book – ‘thanks for a fantastic, successful five years, it should have been a lot longer, cheers, Sir Bobby.’

“When he gave me that book, he said to me ‘you do realise how big this football club is and if ever you get an opportunity, don’t be scared of it, enjoy it and take it with both hands.’

“So I am sitting here now, and I’m going to take it with both hands.”

Sir Bobby was the greatest influence on Carver, who also forged a bond with the late Gary Speed, one of Robson’s most influential players.

Asked what Sir Bobby – who passed away five and a half years ago after a long battle against cancer – would have said to him, Carver said: “I’m a Catholic, and I believe he will be looking down on me, I really do.

“For some reason that was why I had the inspiration to get the book and started reading it.

“He talked about the time he went to Canada, similar to myself because I went there (with Toronto FC).

“Lots of things started coming back into my head. He will be there with us. He will be in the technical area with us, let me tell you that, because I never stop thinking about him.

“Apart from my mum and dad, who I lost recently, there are two people I never stop thinking about – he is one of them, and Gary Speed is the other.

“They are always with us, and I think about them every game. They were good football people.

“And both of those figures understood what it meant to play and manage at this football club.”

Meanwhile, Hull City manager Steve Bruce yesterday ruled himself out of the running to succeed Pardew.

Corbridge-born Bruce, however, was not understood to be in consideration for the post.