JOHN Carver says there’s no hiding place for him – or his Newcastle United players – between now and the end of the season.
The club has lost its last seven Premier League games.
We know we’re in a battle. We can’t hide from it.John Carver
And Newcastle’s worst run since 1977 has left them deep in relegation trouble with just four games left to play.
Fourth-from-bottom Leicester City, Saturday’s opponents, could close the gap on United to just one point if they beat champions elect Chelsea at the King Power Stadium tonight.
Head coach Carver is preparing his team to face Nigel Pearson’s side, who climbed out of the relegation zone at the weekend after winning a fourth successive game.
And the 50-year-old admits the next few weeks won’t be for the faint-hearted.
“It’s been a battle for four or five weeks now,” said Carver, who will this week meet the two fans who verbally abused him during last weekend’s 3-2 home defeat to Swansea City.
“We know that. We know we’re in a battle. We can’t hide from it. We’ve got to deal with it and get on with it.”
Fans have been clamouring for some of the club’s younger players, including teenage forward Adam Armstrong, to be given a chance given the fitful contributions of many of United’s senior professionals.
But Carver – who will have midfielder Moussa Sissoko back from suspension and fit-again defender Paul Dummett available for the Leicester game – will lean on his experienced players between now and the end of the campaign.
He felt his team showed “character” against Swansea, despite the result.
“I saw signs (of character) in in the first half,” said Carver. “That’s why we put an experienced side on the pitch.
“We’ve got one or two guys coming back – Dummett should be back and Siem (de Jong) has got 20 minutes under his belt – so I think we do have (the character to needed).”
Meanwhile, Pearson – who had a spell at St James’s Park as assistant manager – has dismissed claims he will rest key players against Chelsea ahead of Newcastle’s visit to the King Power Stadium.
Pearson said: “I think any questions that intimate there may be a hint of lack of commitment is pretty poor personally, from either side.
“I think that is an insult to our professionalism.”