John Carver: I’ve got full backing of Mike Ashley – and I’ve NOT lost the dressing room

MESSAGE ... Charnley and Ashley.
MESSAGE ... Charnley and Ashley.

JOHN Carver says he has the “100 per cent” backing of Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley – despite the club’s interest in bringing Steve McClaren to St James’s Park.

Carver also insists he has NOT lost the dressing room ahead of tomorrow’s home game against West Bromwich Albion.

Newcastle are in danger of being relegated after a diastrous eight-game losing streak.

The club was interested in bringing in Derby County head coach Steve McClaren – who had been the frontrunner to take over in the summer – for the final three games of the Premier League season.

But McClaren opted to stay at the Championship club, which missed out on the play-offs last weekend.

And United confirmed on Monday that Carver would stay in charge after a series of meetings between Carver, managing director Lee Charnley and the players.

He (Ashley) sent a message through Lee (Charnley) to say he was 100 per cent behind me. I have a good relationship with Lee – we are both honest and frank and he has been so supportive.

John Carver

Asked if he had spoken to Ashley, Carver said: “I’ve not had the conversation with him.

“He sent a message through Lee to say he was 100 per cent behind me. I have a good relationship with Lee – we are both honest and frank and he has been so supportive.”

Carver – who claimed defender Mike Williamson had been sent off “on purpose” against Leicester City last weekend – also feels he has the backing of the players.

Asked if everyone was behind him, he added: “Absolutely. I’m talking about Mike, Lee Charnley, all of the players and all of the staff – everybody.”

Carver’s squad has been decimated by a series of injuries and suspensions and he will be without defenders Williamson and Daryl Janmaat who will be banned for the West Brom game after their dismissals in last Saturday’s 3-0 defeat to Leicester.

But the 50-year-old insists he remains “upbeat”, despite the team’s dreadful form.

“I’ve got to deal with it,” said Carver. “What have I got to do? Crawl up into a ball and not take the challenge on?

“No, no. Let me tell you now, all this rubbish about me being fired, resigning, stepping aside, walking away – complete and utter rubbish.

“If you would have seen how upbeat I was on Monday morning. I surprised a few of the staff with how upbeat I was.

“It’s not good coming in here and feeling sorry for yourself.

“I had a healthy conversation with Lee Charnley. I got the backing from Mike Ashley.

“He (Charnley) never asked me to resign. I came in here Monday morning with the same enthusiasm I had in the Press conference and the same enthusiasm I’ll have tomorrow.

“I can’t say what I’ll be like on Sunday, (but) I can tell you how I’ve been this week.”