JOHN Carver’s admitted that Newcastle United ARE in a relegation fight – after a sixth successive loss.
Carver’s side were beaten 3-1 at home by Tottenham Hotspur yesterday.
And the result left the 14th-placed club seven points clear of the Premier League’s bottom three with five games left to play.
Newcastle’s defeat saw the team equal the run of six defeats a year ago, the club’s worst sequence in the Premier League era.
Head coach Carver – whose squad has been decimated by injuries and suspensions – conceded that the club is in trouble, with the team seemingly in freefall.
“Absolutely, we’re in amongst it,” said Carver.
“You have got sides – and I’ll use Leicester as an example – who are winning games.
“We aren’t, but we have got to find a way of trying to find some points and put some points on the board.”
Carver had questioned the “DNA” of the club’s squad after the Wear-Tyne derby defeat earlier this month, but he maintained after the Tottenham game that the players are capable of getting the points United need between now and the end of the season.
“I think there’s enough experience to deal with it, yes,” he said.
I’m disappointed, I’m angry – I’ve got all the different emotions going through my head.John Carver
“We have got to stop losing players, though, sendings-off and injury.”
Nacer Chadli gave Tottenham a 30th-minute lead after Yoan Gouffran lost possession, but Jack Colback levelled seconds into the second half.
A 53rd-minute Christian Erikson free-kick restored the visitors’ one-goal advantage, and Harry Kane added a third goal in injury-time.
“I’m disappointed, I’m angry – I’ve got all the different emotions going through my head,” said Carver.
“But the bottom line is it’s another defeat and that’s not good enough.
“You could see the nerves and the tension amongst everybody on the pitch – well, certainly in black and white – and it showed in that first-half performance.
“There was a lot of huff and puff, and that’s about it.
“But we conceded a really poor goal again – a poor give-away – and before you know it, it’s in the back of your net, so you’re fighting an uphill battle.
“We had a chat at half-time. I went quite positive – I thought I’d bring two guys on that would get us up the pitch with a bit of pace and a bit of drive – and we got off to a good start, scored a decent goal.
“But it seemed to awaken Spurs and all of a sudden, the game changed again.
“We conceded a free-kick and conceded another stupid goal from a lateral free-kick, which seems to be our Achilles heel at the moment.”