Carver: I'd take charge 'my way'
John Carver is adamant he is his own man as he bids to step out of Alan Pardew's shadow and take over in the Newcastle hot-seat.
Carver, who celebrates his 50th birthday on Friday, has been accused of following studiously in Pardew's footsteps after being placed in charge of team affairs for the last three games with the Magpies' hierarchy looking for a new head coach.
The former Newcastle trainee has made no secret of his desire to be considered for the vacancy in his own right, and with no decision imminently in the offing, he is hoping to state his case both on and off the pitch.
Asked if he was his own man, Carver said: "Absolutely.
"It's really funny because when I was managing in Toronto, one of the reasons why I came back was because I was trying to do it my way as in I was head coach looking after the football side of it, trying to progress the technical side and the match analysis, and unfortunately they weren't moving as quickly as I wanted them to, and I got very frustrated.
"I will do it my way because I think that's best."
Carver found himself in the firing line when he selected a much-changed team for the FA Cup third-round trip to Leicester and promptly saw the club fall at the first hurdle to extend a dismal recent record in the domestic knockout competitions.
That was a stick with which Pardew was often beaten with the club having publicly labelled cup success as a secondary priority to the Barclays Premier League, but the man in loco parentis was quick to deny he is simply a clone.
Carver said: "If that's what they've been saying, I can understand that because I've been working with Alan. But I've set the team up slightly different on the pitch - certainly against Chelsea, you saw a slightly different performance.
"I've done some things different on the team meetings, how I've worked with the players is slightly different. I am my own man.
"This is how I look at it: you live by the sword, you die by the sword. If I don't do it my way and I don't get the job, then I'll think, 'Why didn't I do it like that?'. I'm going to do it my way and if I don't do the job, then at least I know I've done it my way."
Carver expects to receive an update on the current position - managing director Lee Charnley and chief scout Graham Carr are continuing the process of identifying and assessing potential replacements for Pardew - from Charnley following Saturday's evening's league clash with Southampton, after which he and the players will head off to Dubai for a warm weather training camp.
But whatever happens thereafter, he has thoroughly enjoyed his time at the helm to date.
He said: "I have had two of the best weeks of my life, because I've been able to get on with the football and not worry about anything else. I've been able to work with a group of players who have been absolutely outstanding.
"They've listened to what I've said and they've bought into what I've tried to do. When you've had two weeks like I've had, it gives you that hunger to want to do it for the rest of your life. It has absolutely whetted my appetite for it."
Pardew had hoped to strengthen his squad in the January transfer window and, despite the time and energy which is currently being expended on the hunt to identify his replacement, Carver is confident that side of the business is not being ignored.
He said: "There's continuous work going on behind the scenes and definitely an ongoing process, whether it's for now or for later."