Carver On Short-Term Deal!

Last updated : 18 January 2011 By Footy Mad - Editor


Carver first joined Newcastle as a 14-year-old in 1979 but, after turning professional four years later, he suffered a serious thigh injury and left the club without playing a first-team game.

His last game at St James' Park was a happier occasion as, in his only match as caretaker manager, he oversaw a 3-0 victory over Blackburn in September 2004 (featured below).

Alan Pardew: "I'm delighted to be bringing John on board. He has an excellent track record as a coach and of course knows this club very well.

"It was crucial for me that I brought in an assistant who I knew would work well with the current coaching team we have here.

"We've got a good solid set-up with some excellent staff and maintaining that stability is very important to me. John fitted the bill perfectly.

"It's a short-term deal at the moment in order that I can get to know John better and it gives us both the chance to see how the next four months pan out working together.

"That said, I'm very confident he'll be a great addition to our coaching staff and hopefully, if things go well, we can make it a longer-term appointment come the summer."

John Carver: "I am proud and honoured to be able to come back once again to my home-town club.

"I have been lucky to be able to work around the world with some excellent people.

"However, I have always been a fan of this magnificent club and the years I spent working here were some of the happiest of my life.

"I am looking forward to working with Alan Pardew and building on the recent strides that the club has taken to get back to where we belong, at the top of English football."



NEWCASTLE UTD: Given, Carr, O'Brien, Hughes, Elliott, Dyer (Milner 88), Jenas, Bowyer, Robert (N'Zogbia 90), Shearer, Bellamy (Ameobi 77).

Subs Not Used: Kluivert, Harper.

BLACKBURN: Friedel, Neill, Short, Matteo, Gray, Emerton (Bothroyd 78), Flitcroft, Ferguson, Pedersen (Douglas 45), Dickov, Stead.

Subs Not Used: Tugay, Enckelman, Johansson.

Att: 52,015

Alan Shearer ensured that Graeme Souness will take over the Newcastle hot-seat with three points to ease him into place.

It took the Magpies just 16 minutes to effectively clinch their first win of the season and only their second in 12 Premiership encounters as managerless Blackburn, the club left behind by Souness, failed to prolong the agony at St James' Park.

The departing Sir Bobby Robson visited the club's training ground yesterday to urge his former charges on to a much-needed victory, and they responded in just the way they had done for him so many times previously.

Rovers skipper Garry Flitcroft set them on their way with an eighth-minute own goal, but it was Shearer's 16th-minute header, his second goal of the season, which put them in the driving seat before defender Andy O'Brien added a third eight minutes from time.

Victory was the only aim when coach John Carver sent his side out on to the pitch, but the fact they returned with all the points and a clean sheet - their first of the season - will have come as a huge bonus.

It has been an eventful couple of weeks on Tyneside with one manager departing and another arriving, it has to be said, without universal approval.

"Football is a matter of opinion and everybody is entitled to their opinion," wrote chairman Freddy Shepherd in his programme notes. "The bottom line is that the board is making what we believe is the right move at this particular time for this football club."

The end result was that Carver, whose time at the club could come to an end as Souness and his own backroom staff prepare to take over, was handed the task of selecting a side to secure a first win of the season.

It was something Steve Clarke was unable to do five years ago when he stepped in between Ruud Gullit's departure and Robson's arrival and saw the Magpies lose 5-1 at Manchester United.

Fortunately for Carver, it was managerless Blackburn providing the opposition, and the three points were there for the taking.

Having recalled Shearer to the starting line-up, he handed them the task of putting Rovers to the sword, and they fulfilled his request to the letter.

Craig Bellamy was a menace, Laurent Robert - yes, Laurent Robert - appeared to have eaten nothing but red meat for a fortnight, and a defence which had shipped nine goals in its first four games, finally started to find some shape and resilience.

It took the home side just seven minutes to force their way in front, Flitcroft involuntarily helping a wicked Robert corner into his own net from point-blank range.

With 16 minutes gone, it was 2-0 when the effervescent Bellamy created half a yard for himself on the left and floated over the perfect cross for Shearer to power in a header which Brad Friedel got both hands to but could not keep out.

Had referee Dermot Gallagher had been in more generous mood, the game might have been well out of Blackburn's grasp by the break after he twice turned down strong appeals for penalties, Dominic Matteo and Morten Gamst Pedersen both appearing to trip Lee Bowyer.

The visitors were finding the going tough, although young striker Jonathan Stead caused problems at times, but their best effort came from long distance when midfielder Brett Emerton sent a dipping effort just over Shay Given's crossbar.

Rovers' caretaker boss Tony Parkes, in charge for the sixth time in his career, replaced the injured Pedersen with Jonathon Douglas at the break, but after a slow start by the home side, it was they who began to pull the strings once again.

Bowyer fired high over from a tight angle on 50 minutes after being set up by Bellamy and Shearer, although United's front two were finding life a little tougher than they had before the break.

Stead and Paul Dickov were starting to make their presence felt, but too often, their side wasted possession in promising positions to take the heat off Newcastle.

But as the half wore on, the home crowd found their voices once again and their side reacted accordingly to once again pepper the Rovers box.

But for Friedel, it would have been 3-0 on 71 minutes, the American pulling off a fine save after Bellamy had capitalised on Shearer's flick on to slide a pass into the path of Bowyer, who shot first time and hit the target.

Bellamy made way to rapturous applause for Shola Ameobi 13 minutes from time, but it was O'Brien who cemented the win five minutes later when he turned smartly on Bowyer's ball into the box and prodded it past Friedel.

The United faithful left satisfied and hopeful that there is more to come when Souness takes charge for the first time against Hapoel Bnei Sakhnin in the UEFA Cup first round on Thursday.