JOHN Carver says Newcastle United’s woes this season are down to “bad luck” – and not mismanagement.
Carver’s side are just two points above the Premier League’s relegation zone.
I spoke to Tony Pulis, and he said it was quite incredible what I’d had to put up with regarding injuries and suspensions. That is bad luck – it’s not mismanagement by the club.John Carver
And Newcastle – who take on relegated Queens Park Rangers at Loftus Road tomorrow – are likely to need three points from their last two games to be safe.
The squad which Carver inherited from predecessor Alan Pardew at the turn of the year has been decimated by a series of injuries and suspensions.
But Carver – who hopes to get the head coach job on a permanent basis – does not feel the results are a damning indictment on the size of a squad which many supporters feel was ill-equipped for the rigours of the Premier League – or his own coaching and managerial ability.
The 50-year-old – whose instead believes the root cause of the club’s on-field malaise this season is simply rotten luck.
Carver says he got sympathy from West Bromwich Albion head coach Tony Pulis after last weekend’s 1-1 draw at St James’s Park.
And he believes any manager would have struggled in the circumstances.
“I will say this again, because of the circumstances, I would love to see how anyone else would react,” said Carver.
“I spoke to Tony Pulis after the game, and he said it was quite incredible what I’d had to put up with regarding injuries and suspensions.
“That is bad luck – it’s not mismanagement by the club.
“I had enough players. At one stage I had a full team missing.
“Our squad of 26 is not a bad size – not many people have 11 players missing at one time.”
Carver said after the West Brom game that his comments about being the “best coach in the Premier League” were taken out of context by the media.
Speaking ahead of the QPR game, Carver also said that he does not have any regrets about his “tongue-in-cheek” claim.
He said: “I don’t regret it, because I’m the best golfer and the best cricketer in the world, and I’ve already told you that!
“Listen, sometimes you say things tongue in cheek, OK?
“Sometimes you say things to try to motivate people and motivate myself.
“When I speak, I don’t have any regrets over what I say.
“What I was a little bit annoyed about was how people took it out of context, and especially those people who actually know me.”
Carver’s side end a troubled campaign with a home game against West Ham on May 24.
But he is not thinking about the possibility of United’s relegation fight going down to the wire.
Carver said: “That word (relegation) is not even in my vocabulary, trust me. All I’m thinking about is Saturday against QPR. Let’s win the game and see what happens.
“If I start thinking about everything else, then it’s like a golfer coming down the 18th and he’s got the championship in his sights and all of a sudden he starts waving at the crowd, he loses his concentration, bang, misses a putt and loses the championship.
“I’m not even going to be distracted. I’m focused.”