'Massive low' - John Carver opens up on time as Newcastle United caretaker manager

Former Newcastle United coach John Carver has revealed that the step down from caretaker manager to academy director was a “massive low” for him.

Tuesday, 16th March 2021, 10:51 am
Updated Tuesday, 16th March 2021, 10:56 am
John Carver. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

The 56-year-old took over in the dugout in for the first time in 2006 after Sir Bobby Robson was relieved of his duties with the Magpies.

Carver would only take charge of one game, a 3-0 win over Blackburn Rovers, before being demoted by new permanent boss Graeme Souness.

Chris Wilder’s recent departure from Sheffield United has led to Paul Heckingbottom’s appointment as interim manager at Bramall Lane and has also reignited discussions surrounding caretaker managers at the highest levels of the professional game.

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Speaking to BBC Sport, he said: "The first time at Newcastle there was no pressure whatsoever.

"It was a free shot. It happened so fast and it was over so quickly that I didn't have time to think about it.

"I went from a massive high one day to a massive low the next.

"You go from 52,500 screaming Geordies on the Saturday to sitting in an office in the role as academy director.

"There's a reason why you get this role. It's either because the manager has been sacked or because the manager has had a better opportunity.

"Normally it's because they've been fired because results haven't been good enough. That group of players, the manager and the coaching staff have got into a bad position.

"People think, when you get a caretaker role, you're going to do all these things differently, but you're not.

"You were there as an assistant manager. When you're training every day, when you're preparing the team, it's you and the manager with your ideas.

"There might be small little tweaks you might do, but in general, when the team is in the position they are in and people blame the manager, the staff have to take the blame as well, because we've got them into that position. You're not going to do much different.

"Sometimes you've got no choice”.

Carver would go on to take temporary charge for a second time at St. James’ Park after Alan Pardew’s exit in 2015.