JOHN Carver says only Harry Houdini could help Newcastle United conjure up a back four after he lost his captain Fabricio Coloccini.
Carver was today facing up to life without Coloccini, who was sent off in yesterday’s 3-0 defeat to Everton.
I’m not Harry Houdini – I cannot magic something up – but I will give the situation everything and work with what I’ve got.John Carver
The 33-year-old’s dismissal at Goodison Park means he will be banned for three games, including the Wear-Tyne derby next month.
Head coach Carver, already without the injured Steven Taylor and Paul Dummett for the rest of the campaign, is down to the bare bones at the back.
And he would need to be Houdini, the late illusionist, to be able to “magic up” the defenders he needs over the coming weeks.
But Carver – who has come under fire from some fans – feels the “majority” of supporters will back the team between now and the end of the campaign, despite their frustration at another poor season.
“This group of supporters will back this team,” said Carver.
“People in the North understand the game, the situation, where we are and what we are.
“I’m not Harry Houdini – I cannot magic something up – but I will give the situation everything and work with what I’ve got.
“I think the majority of fans understand that. The people of the North are knowledgeable about football. Sensible people understand the situation.
“I thought we actually started the game well.
“The goalkeeper (Tim Howard) made a great save, and there was a little bit of a shout for a penalty for us as well when it hits (James) McCarthy’s arm standing on the line.
“After that, I must say, 11 against 11, we were second best. We conceded two poor goals.
“The first goal, you can’t let runners run off you from midfield. Tim possibly could have done a little bit better from it.
“We started the second half quite well, but the penalty – and my initial reaction was that it was a penalty – was poor.
“What was encouraging was when we went 2-0 down with 10 men, we had our best opportunities. It wasn’t a group of people who had given in.
“We still wanted to get back into the game.”