Boycott and protests did NOT affect Newcastle’s players, says John Carver

PROTEST ... empty seats.
PROTEST ... empty seats.

JOHN Carver says his Newcastle United can have “no excuses” for its defeat to Tottenham Hotspur.

Yesterday’s 3-1 home loss to Tottenham Hotspur was played out in front of thousands of empty seats.

I don’t think that has affected what has gone on on the pitch, because all the players are professional, so once they cross that line, no matter what is going on around them, it shouldn’t bother them.

John Carver

A significant number of supporters stayed away from St James’s Park in protest at the direction of the club under Mike Ashley.

Hundreds also protested behind the Gallowgate End before kick-off time.

The official attendance, including ALL tickets sold, was given as 47,427, but it was estimated that the real figure was just over the 40,000-mark.

Head coach Carver, however, did not think the boycott and protests unsettled his team, which has now lost its last six games.

“The one thing is – and I said this before the game – people are entitled to do what they want, and they have their opinion,” said Carver.

“I don’t think that has affected what has gone on on the pitch, because all the players are professional, so once they cross that line, no matter what is going on around them, it shouldn’t bother them.

“Yes, it can help them when the crowd is behind the team, but a situation like today shouldn’t affect them, so there are no excuses there.

“We lost the game today because we weren’t good enough.”

Carver – whose side are seven points above the Premier League’s relegation zone – admitted those who did turn up had little reason to get up off their seats.

“People are sitting in the seats watching the game, and they want something to spark a reaction like three weeks ago (against Arsenal), and they didn’t get that,” he said.

“Yes, we got a little bit just after half-time – and you could see the atmosphere starting to change – but then you concede a goal and it hurts. You can only take so much.”

While there were chants against Ashley outside the ground, there was little dissent inside the stadium, which had a subdued atmosphere.

Carver said: “I have experienced that situation before, and it’s not easy to deal with.

“But again, we have to come up with a solution. I have to come up with a solution.”