Carver set top-half challenge
John Carver must secure the minimum target of a top-10 finish if he is to stand any chance of extending his role as Newcastle's new head coach beyond the end of the season.
The 50-year-old has been given the job for the rest of the current campaign after the Magpies admitted frustration in their bid to appoint a permanent successor to Alan Pardew.
Carver has made no secret of the fact he wants the job on a long-term basis but needs a top-half finish to improve his already slim hopes of convincing club officials he is up to the task.
Newcastle chief executive Lee Charnley said: "At the beginning of this process it was my desire and intention to appoint an individual to the position of head coach who would be available to start immediately.
"Having now explored at some length the options available to us at this time, the decision has been taken to defer the appointment of a permanent head coach until the end of the season.
"The head coach will be a long-term appointment that will play a major role in shaping the future on-field progression of Newcastle United and it is vitally important that we get the right individual.
"John has a long history with the club and has the full support of the board. Our goal for the season of a minimum top-10 finish remains unchanged and we are confident that John, supported by the backroom staff, will be able to deliver this."
Carver is yet to win a match in charge after three wins and a draw since he took over from Pardew in a caretaker capacity on New Year's Day.
And despite a lukewarm reaction from many Magpies fans to his appointment, Carver insists he intends to seize the opportunity.
Carver said: "This is a proud day for me. I have worked with, and learnt from, the best manager that this football club has had in Sir Bobby Robson.
"I am confident that we can deliver exciting, successful football and look forward with relish to my role as head coach of this great football club."
In reality the delay may have more to do with the unavailability of several key candidates rather than the desire to give Carver time to prove himself.
Steve McClaren, Christophe Galtier and Remi Garde have all indicated they would be unable to take the job at St James' Park until summer at the earliest.