Belfast Telegraph

Carver: I won't let Magpies 'drift'

John Carver says he will not allow Newcastle's season to "drift away" after being appointed head coach until the end of the season.

Carver was handed the reins at St James' Park until the end of the season on Monday, starting with Saturday's Barclays Premier League trip to Hull.

Eleventh-placed Newcastle have lost their last three games and failed to win in four as the 50-year-old former assistant manager seeks his first victory at the helm since succeeding Alan Pardew earlier this month.

"I'm delighted to have got the job until the end of the season," Carver told nufc.co.uk.

"Everyone knows I love this club and my goals are simple - to finish as high as we can in the Premier League and get as many points as we can.

"Everybody on the outside is talking about our season petering away but I am not going to allow that to happen.

"Those who are saying that don't know me, don't know the people around me and don't know this group of players.

"We're much more professional than that. We can't afford to let the season drift away and I won't allow it to happen.

"I'm too demanding and I won't allow anyone to slacken off between now and the end of May."

Carver will work alongside Steve Stone and Dave Watson, the latter having stepped up from looking after the Magpies' Under-18 side, and says he plans to spend as much time on the training ground as he did when he was Pardew's assistant.

"I love being on the training pitch and the role of the head coach is to be hands-on out here," Carver said.

"When you are a manager you have to manage the football club, but the role has changed and it gives me maximum time on the training ground, coaching the players.

"What I have done is given Steve (Stone) and Dave (Watson) more responsibility because they are very good at what they do, and it is important that you delegate to those who are talented.

"But when it comes to the meat of the session, it is my responsibility to prepare the team for the final 16 games.

"The players have been really positive and have responded.

"Even though we haven't won a game yet, I think we've played some nice stuff in spells.

"Ultimately though, it is about scoring goals and winning games so that needs to change.

"We've done plenty of work on that on the training pitch and hopefully that little bit of luck we need will fall our way this weekend."

Carver's hopes of a first victory in charge could be boosted by the return of top scorer Papiss Cisse following Senegal's early exit from the African Nations Cup on Tuesday.

Senegal's 2-0 defeat to Algeria saw them crash out at the group stage and nine-goal Cisse, who scored twice in a 2-2 home draw with Hull in September, could now be available for the trip to the KC Stadium.

Newcastle have been linked with Hamburg striker Pierre-Michel Lasogga - but the Bundesliga club say there has been no official offer for the Germany Under-21 international.

Hamburg sporting director Peter Knabel told Sport Bild about Newcastle's interest: "There have been requests, but no offer."

Lasogga has been linked with Newcastle in the past, most notably towards the end of last term before he turned a loan deal at Hamburg into a permanent move.

The 23-year-old scored four times in 11 appearances for Germany's U21 side and hit 13 goals for Hamburg in 20 league games while on loan from Hertha Berlin in the 2013-14 season.

But Lasogga, who is contracted at Hamburg until 2019, has struggled in front of goal this season and scored just twice in 16 Bundesliga appearances.

Newcastle striker Siem de Jong hopes his long spell on the sidelines is coming to an end after he scored in Tuesday's 3-1 behind-closed-doors friendly victory over Carlisle.

The Dutchman, who turned 26 on Wednesday, cost Newcastle £6million when he joined from Ajax last summer but the striker has started only one Barclays Premier League game after picking up a thigh injury.

"Hopefully I'll be back playing real games soon and this was a nice start," de Jong told nufcTV after coming off at half-time against Carlisle in a planned substitution.

"I've been training for a while now and training with the group as well, but this is different.

"It's the first game in four months so I have to be patient and keep playing games."

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