Newcastle players have got John Carver’s back

John Carver
John Carver

NEWCASTLE United’s players have told caretaker manager John Carver that they have “got his back”.

Carver has taken the temporary charge of the team in the wake of Alan Pardew’s departure for Crystal Palace.

The 49-year-old will be in the dugout for this afternoon’s home game against Burnley (3pm kick-off).

Carver – who will be without the suspended Papiss Demba Cisse – says training has been “upbeat” this week after Pardew’s surprise decision to call time on his four-year career at Newcastle.

And Sir Bobby Robson’s former No2 is confident they are behind him.

“If we can play like we’ve trained, we’re going to be OK,” said Carver.

“When a manager is sacked or leaves, there are always people who are delighted because they’re out of the team and people who are disappointed because they’re in the team and will have to prove themselves all over again.

“We’ve not got a massive group of players, though, with the injury situation virtually everybody is playing.

“Everybody was upbeat, everybody was buoyant and a lot of players have come up to me and said ‘we’ve got your back’, and I couldn’t ask for anything more.”

Carver was only put in charge on Monday night after Pardew was given permission to talk to Palace.

“Everything has happened so quickly,” said Carver. “I had a conversation with Alan on Monday night which will remain private.

“(Managing director) Lee Charnley rang me a couple of hours later to say he’d been given permission to speak to Palace, and said they wanted me to look after the team, and that was it.

“It was as brief as that. I can tell you now I knew nothing about anything before I came in and did the Press after the Everton game.

“Since then, all I’ve been concentrating on has been the team.

“We had a team meeting as usual which wasn’t that different because I sometimes did them anyway.”

Asked what, if anything, would change on the training ground, Carver said: “I’ve got to be honest, we were quite close.

“I did an awful lot of the work on the training ground. I’ve had the experience of working with a lot of great managers, and I’ve taken a little bit from them all of them.

“(First-team coach) Steve Stone has got fantastic experience.

“You all know I’m a little bit lively. He’s just so level headed, he’s fantastic to bounce things off.”