JOHN Carver has been put in charge of Newcastle United until the summer – when the club could firm up its interest in Steve McClaren.
The club yesterday revealed that Carver had been put in charge for the last 16 games of the season.
United managing director Lee Charnley said he had opted to “defer” the appointment of a permanent successor to Alan Pardew after examining the club’s “options”.
McClaren publicly reiterated his committed to Derby County after being linked with the vacant post at Newcastle.
A number of other potential candidates, including Ajax’s Frank de Boer and St Etienne’s Christophe Galtier, were not prepared to leave their clubs midway through the season.
And former Olympique Lyonnais manager Remi Garde – who had talks with Charnley earlier this month – wanted to complete a planned year-long sabbatical from the game.
Thomas Tuchel, meanwhile, remains under contract at German club Mainz, and is unable to start work until the summer.
While Garde is a strong contender, and de Boer would be a popular appointment with Newcastle’s fans, the coaching ability of McClaren – who hopes to lead Derby back into the Premier League this season – is admired by United’s hierarchy.
Charnley, however, knows it would be hard to prise the 53-year-old from the iPro Stadium, however Derby fare this season.
“At the beginning of this process it was my desire and intention to appoint an individual to the position of head coach who would be available to start immediately,” said Charnley.
“Having now explored at some length the options available to us at this time, the decision has been taken to defer the appointment of a permanent head coach until the end of the season.
“The head coach will be a long-term appointment that will play a major role in shaping the future on-field progression of Newcastle United, and it is vitally important that we get the right individual.”
Carver – who had been Pardew’s No2 – is himself keen to take the job on a full-time basis.
While not among the frontrunners for the position, he knows results between now and the end of the season could influence the thinking of Charnley, who is being assisted by chief scout Graham Carr.
“John has a long history with the club, and has the full support of the board,” added Charnley.
“Our goal for the season of a minimum top-10 finish remains unchanged, and we are confident that John, supported by the backroom staff, will be able to deliver this.”
Carver – still looking for his first win as caretaker head coach – talked of his “pride” after being asked to take the charge for the rest of the season.
“This is a proud day for me,” said Carver, whose side take on Hull City at the KC Stadium on Saturday.
“I have worked with, and learnt from, the best manager that this football club has had in Sir Bobby Robson.
“I know what this club means to this city and its people. I believe in my players and the staff I have around me.
“I am confident that we can deliver exciting successful football, and look forward with relish to my role as head coach of this great football club.”
The appointment was welcomed by injured defender Steven Taylor on Sportlobster.
Taylor said: “I think that’s good news for the club, and I’m really pleased that the club has made this decision.
“It means everyone will be settled and knows what is happening moving forward.
“John is the man to take us forward now at least until the summer, and it means we aren’t faced with the distraction of having the names of possible new managers discussed in the media.”