NEWCASTLE United bosses could use their FA Cup exit to their advantage – by waiting until the fortnight’s break from action before stepping up their search for a new manager.
The Magpies are still without a manager after Alan Pardew quit for Crystal Palace a fortnight ago.
John Carver has been in caretaker charge for the last three games – a home draw against Burnley and defeat at Chelsea in the Premier League, and the FA Cup loss at Leicester City.
Newcastle’s exit from the cup competition means they have a fortnight’s rest after the home game against Southampton on Saturday, before they travel to Hull City on January 31.
Carver will be in temporary charge again this weekend, but United chiefs hope the management situation will be clearer by the time they travel to the KC Stadium.
Managing director Lee Charnley has already held provisional talks with a number of candidates, including bookies favourite Remi Garde, and is set to step up the process over the next couple of weeks.
Former Bayer Leverkusen, Hamburg and Stuttgart manager Bruno Labbadia has been strongly linked in Germany with the head coach job at St James’s Park, while ex-Spurs chief Tim Sherwood is also believed to be in the frame.
However, it could still be that Carver – who is still the only person to have publicly stated he wants the position – is given the job until the end of the season.
Highly-rated Real Madrid No2 Paul Clement last night ruled himself out of the running. The English coach said: “Newcastle are a fantastic football club and I’m very flattered to be linked with them, as well as other great clubs in England.
“But I’m enjoying my experience in Madrid and I think it’s best for me to stay here in the near future, to gain more experience working with these great players at this great club.”