JOHN Carver says he just has to “deal with” the ongoing injury crisis at Newcastle United – as he can’t “pull a rabbit out of a hat”.
United went into Sunday’s derby defeat at Sunderland with just one recognised senior centre-back available, while Ryan Taylor and Jack Colback had to fill in at full-back.
Goalkeeper Tim Krul also came close to missing the game with food poisoning, while Daryl Janmaat – who filled in at centre-back – felt an injury in the warm-up.
It all added to the headaches of head coach Carver before Sunday’s derby.
He said: “Without going into too much detail, before Sunday we had a situation where Tim Krul had food poisoning (the night before).
“I got a call from the doctor, and it was touch and go whether he would play.
“During the warm-up, Daryl Janmaat had a little strain in his calf, so I was busy just before the game trying to sort out a totally different team to go and play in a big game like that.
“They are the sort of blows I’ve had to deal with, and I can’t pull a rabbit out of a hat with nothing available. I’ve just got to deal with it.”
Despite the problems, Carver insists he will simply soldier on for the remainder of the season.
He added: “I’m just going to get on with the job. I’m in this situation. We have a depleted group of players, and I’m working with what I’ve got.
“We’ve already made our opinions on the reasons why we’re in this situation – it has been public knowledge – so I’ll just deal with it, and I’ll do it until I’m told otherwise.”
Carver has also insisted Newcastle’s season is far from over – as the players have a duty to the club’s supporters to perform.
He said: “I’m actually getting a little bit fed up with that question, because it’s easy to say, but I’ve got a job to do, and you try telling our hundreds of thousands of supporters that the season is dead, and especially before the game on Sunday.
“We can’t do that. Those guys in the dressing room, along with us – because we all have to accept it – have to do something about this.”