John Carver says the pain of Newcastle United’s last relegation still haunts him – and his players.
And the club’s head coach has drawn upon the experience of 2009 ahead of tomorrow’s do-or-die clash against West Ham United.
I remember seeing Alan (Shearer) on the pitch afterwards, watching it on the TV, and on that day I genuinely didn’t speak for an hour afterwards. I thought ‘I hope that never, ever happens to me’.John Carver
Newcastle, reeling from a run of nine defeats from their last 10 games, need to win to be certain of Premier League safety.
If they don’t claim all three points – and Hull City beat Manchester United – then the club will be relegated to the Championship after five years in the top flight.
A number of Carvers players, among them Fabricio Coloccini and Jonas Gutierrez, were in the team that dropped out of the Premier League at Villa Park six years ago.
And Carver spoke about their experience at a team meeting early this week.
“I don’t think I’ll be asking the likes of Colo and Jonas to talk about the day at Villa specifically, but I did talk about their experiences in the meeting,” said Carver. “They’ve experienced this. Ryan Taylor and Tim Krul were here as well, so they know what it feels like.
“I talked about their experiences, and how they had to deal with what came next, because it wasn’t nice.”
Alan Shearer was manager when United were relegated, having been appointed for the final eight games of a troubled campaign.
“I remember seeing Alan on the pitch afterwards, watching it on the TV, and on that day I genuinely didn’t speak for an hour afterwards,” he said. “I thought ‘I hope that never, ever happens to me’.”