JOHN Carver had some sleepless nights before Newcastle United’s win over Aston Villa – and he won’t sleep easy before the club’s next game.
A goal from Papiss Demba Cisse gave Carver’s injury-hit side a hard-fought 1-0 victory at St James’s Park on Saturday.
You certainly have sleeples nights - especially with what’s in front of youNewcastle boss John Carver
And head coach Carver – who admitted after the match that the result was all important after the previous weekend’s 5-0 drubbing at the Etihad Stadium – must now prepare his team for Wednesday night’s home match against Manchester United.
The 50-year-old’s options over the past two months have been limited by the injuries which have deprived him of key players, and he will again be without suspended midfielder Jack Colback for the visit of Louis van Gaal’s side.
“You certainly have sleepless nights, especially after last week (against Manchester City and especially with what is in front of you,” said Carver.
“I am not making excuses, but the facts are I have not had (Cheik) Tiote, Steven Taylor, and Papiss on international duty. Or Tim Krul at times or Rob Elliot or Rolando Aarons who was flying.
“A lot of bodies have been unavailable to select.
“The team has almost picked itself. Losing Colback, I was a bit light on central midfielders, and I had to stifle (Moussa) Sissoko because I needed him in there.
“It has worked. Things have gone against us and I have had to deal with that. I am not making excuses, they are facts. Colback was a big miss.”
Carver handed Mehdi Abeid a start in midfield ahead of Vurnon Anita.
And he feels there is a lot more to come from Abeid, fully fit after recovering from a broken toe, over the coming weeks.
“He did OK, but I want someone to get on the ball with a bit more composure,” said Carver.
“He battled and competed. Things didn’t come off for him at times, and I expect more from him.”