IT’S not really words that John Carver needs, it’s players.
Lee Charnley, Newcastle United’s managing director, sent a “message of support” to Carver, the club’s head coach.
Charnley was reacting to a chant from supporters at Selhurst Park last week.
No more than half of the club’s 2,762-strong following chanted “are you Pardew in disguise” late in the game after a defensive substitution from Carver.
They were seemingly likening Carver’s tactics to those of Crystal Palace manager Alan Pardew, the subject of fan hostility for the last year of his tenure at St James’s Park.
The chant irked Charnley, who, until this year, had kept a low profile.
“I know that from first thing in the morning until the last thing at night he (Carver) is giving it everything he’s got and driving the staff and players,” said Charnley.
“He is desperate to get the right results – he shares the same aim as we all do. That is to finish as high up the Premier League table as we can possibly finish.
“On that basis we felt that some of the chants that were aimed at him at the Crystal Palace game were not helpful or indeed deserved.
“What we would ask is for the final 13 games the supporters get behind John and get behind the team.”
Certainly, those fans who paid handsomely for travel, accommodation and tickets for the Palace game – which ended 1-1 – were entitled to voice their opinions, however unpalatable they were to Carver and Charnley.
Carver himself admitted he wouldn’t have held back had he been in the away end at the King Power Stadium and not the dugout after last month’s Newcastle’s FA Cup defeat to Leicester City.
What Carver needs if he is to win over those supporters who are questioning his appointment are results. And wins could prove hard to come by between now and the end of the campaign.
Another thing happened at Selhurst Park, Paul Dummett suffered a knee problem after coming off the bench that will see him sidelined until May.
Dummett’s injury has left Carver with just four senior specialist defenders ahead of Saturday’s game at Manchester City, though Vurnon Anita and Ryan Taylor offer cover at full-back.
Back to Charnley, who went on: “We acknowledge that what happened at Palace was from a small group of fans.
“But we would encourage everyone to focus on getting behind John and the staff and team. It will make a real difference.”
What would have made a real difference to the club’s chances of a high Premier League finish would have been an acquisition or two in last month’s transfer window.
However, the club did not make a single signing.
What it did do was loan out six players and sell another, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa.
If we’re talking about the support Carver needs to make a success of his tenure, then it’s too simplistic to talk just about the backing from the terraces he needs.
Carver also needs the right backing from above.
And that’s more than words alone.