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Carver reveals McClaren backing

Published 30/04/2015

John Carver has invited two disgruntled fans into his office to discuss their concerns
John Carver has invited two disgruntled fans into his office to discuss their concerns

John Carver has received support from the man hotly tipped to succeed him as Newcastle's head coach.

The under-fire 50-year-old has invited two fans to the training ground on Friday after he became involved in a heated touchline exchange with them as the Magpies slipped to a 3-2 defeat - their seventh in a row in the Barclays Premier League - by Swansea at St James' Park on Saturday with the pressure on him mounting.

However, as Carver attempts to steer his home-town club clear of an unthinkable relegation, he has been backed by Derby counterpart Steve McClaren, the bookmakers' favourite to take over on Tyneside in the summer and one of the names on the short-list drawn up by managing director Lee Charnley.

The pair bumped into each other after the Newcastle man travelled to watch the club's Under-21s in action against their Rams counterparts on Tuesday.

Carver said: "I had a good chat with Steve McClaren, we had a good talk. We didn't talk about anything other than my situation and about what my players are doing on the pitch.

"It was all about me and how I had to cope with it, and even he said, 'It's been a difficult thing for you John, I understand that. But you've handled it quite well. You've had to cope with it'."

Asked if the speculation over the Newcastle job had been raised, Carver said: "No, no, absolutely not, absolutely 100 per cent no. He just asked how I was coping with it, how I was dealing with it.

"Steve and I go back - and Steve Round and Paul Simpson, who were there. We were all on the same Pro-Licence course together.

"There was nothing about what all the rumours are or anything like that, because they had to give me some respect as well, let's be honest.

"Whether they are in for it or not, they have to give me the respect, so they were never going to talk about anything like that - and I didn't spin it the other way either."

Despite presiding over a run of seven successive league defeats for the first time since 1977, Carver insists he is still desperate to be given the job and to prove that he can succeed when he has a full squad at his disposal.

He will first have to demonstrate that he can mobilise the current crop to avoid an ugly survival fight, something of which he will have to persuade his visitors on Friday with many fans having already decided that whatever he may offer as a coach or an assistant manager, he is not a number one.

Carver said: "Listen, you've got to give people opportunities. There will be people saying that, but I also think people out there understand the circumstances. These are extreme circumstances.

"I keep saying that, but they are. If I've got the tools..."

Carver will at least be able to call upon midfielder Moussa Sissoko at Leicester after a two-match ban, while defender Paul Dummett has rejoined the squad following his recovery from injury.

Striker Papiss Cisse will complete his seven-match suspension at the weekend, but a niggling knee problem could mean he does not go straight back into the squad.

Carver said: "He's quite positive about this whole situation, so let's not write him off. He's been really positive about it, and it might be that we have to use him like Siem (De Jong) in the last 20 minutes, half and hour, to come off the bench, get in that six-yard box and score the winning goal for us.

"We might have to use him in that way. But what we're not going to do is put him at risk, put his health at risk by doing something stupid.

"The one thing I will say is when he was playing, you could see - it was blatantly obvious to everyone - that he had a little bit of an issue with a limp. That limp has gone now, so that's good news."

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