JOHN Carver says he “accepts” the criticism for not introducing Newcastle United youngster Adam Armstrong from the bench earlier at Sunderland on Sunday.
The teenage striker was brought on for the last three minutes of the game at the Stadium of Light, which United lost 1-0.
Carver had opted to bring on Emmanuel Riviere before the hour mark, and although he has defended that decision, he says Armstrong could also have come on earlier.
He said: “It’s a good question, and what worries me about putting young players into situations like that is that it could hurt them, and I’ve said that in the past.
“Maybe I should have done it (on Sunday), and maybe it’s my fault for not getting him on and giving him 20 minutes. I’ll accept that. I could have brought Adam on earlier, but we needed to get some sort of support up to the frontmen.
“Ayoze (Perez) was up there on his own and was a little bit isolated. He worked extremely hard, but the physical presence of their two centre-halves caused us a problem.
“I needed to get Manu on the pitch, hopefully so we could hold the ball up and midfield players could get closer to him, and I thought he did that.”
Carver now believes Newcastle MUST win another five points this season to avoid being dragged into a late relegation fight.
He added: “We need points, because we’ve only got 35. People talk about the magic total being 40 points. We need to get to 40 points.
“By hook or by crook, with what I’ve got in that dressing room available, I’m going to have to do something about it, and come up with a formula that can get us some points.”