JOHN Carver delivered a half-time team talk in a bid to stop Newcastle United sliding to another derby defeat.
Head coach Carver was at St James’s Park last night for the Tyne-Tees reserve derby against Middlesbrough.
With Newcastle trailing at the break to a stunning early Emmanuel Ledesma free-kick, Carver addressed Peter Beardsley’s side in the dressing room.
Carver felt United had lacked intensity in the first half, but the team fought back strongly in the second half.
Newcastle had defender Macauley Gillesphey sent off for a second bookable offence, but they still pressed for an equaliser in a feisty last period.
Boro, however, held on to extend their lead at the top of the Under-21 Premier League’s Second Division to five points.
Football development manager Beardsley said: “I thought, in the first half, them scoring early probably knocked us.
“I didn’t think we were great until half-time, but JC (Carver) came in and had a word and we obviously had a word to focus their minds.
“In the second half they played really well, especially going down to 10 men.
“We had some good chances, but it was frustrating in the end.”
Former trainee Carver – whose side lost the Wear-Tyne derby on Sunday – was watching the club’s Under-21s ahead of the April 13 game Premier League game against Liverpool at Anfield.
“To be fair to JC, he always comes in and is always part of it,” added Beardsley.
“He always has a real interest, and he’s been a part of that from day one. He’s been through their route. He came through as a kid when I played for Newcastle.”
First-team winger Gabriel Obertan played 45 minutes for United, captained by defender Lubomir Satka.
NEWCASTLE UNITED: Woodman; Sterry, Sataka, Gillesphey, Laidler (Heardman, 78); Obertan (Gilliead, 46), Barlaser (Williams, 58), Kemen, Smith, Roberts; Armstrong.