JOHN Carver wished relegation-threatened Newcastle United had hit rock-bottom sooner – as the club’s loss to Leicester City brought things to a head.
Carver’s side were convincingly beaten 3-0 at the King Power Stadium on their last away outing.
I wish Leicester had happened a bit earlier – that would have given us more time.John Carver
Newcastle’s eighth successive defeat led to a series of meetings between under-fire Carver, the hierarchy and the club’s players.
And a more spirited United ended their run of defeats last weekend, when they drew 1-1.
Newcastle take on Queens Park Rangers at Loftus Road this afternoon knowing a win could be enough to keep them in the Premier League with a game to spare.
Head coach Carver said: “I wish Leicester had happened a bit earlier – that would have given us more time.
“It has happened and we deal with it and we have to get on with it.”
Asked if he didn’t realise how bad things were until the Leicester game, Carver added: “The Leicester game brought it to a head.
“I’ve not seen that in all the games over 90 minutes – I ain’t seen that. It was the worst 90 minutes I have seen. I had seen glimpses – a first half or a second half – but not for a complete game.”
The players held a meeting between themselves without Carver and his staff two days after the Leicester defeat.
Carver says the mood has lifted “slightly” since the West Brom game.
He said: “Spirits have been lifted breaking that run, slightly.
“We broke it, and that was important. I don’t think there has been any significant change.
“The players might say there has been in their attitudes after that meeting they had. I don’t know what was said.”
The Leicester game, and the resulting fallout, could prove to be a pivotal moment in a troubled season.
“I just think that from Leicester that was so bad, across the board,” said Carver. “Sometimes you get games like that.
“You can be critical of how we defended set-plays, didn’t keep the ball, didn’t track back. Sometimes you get days like that.
“That was the first time I had seen it in time I was looking after the team – right across the board.
“You could say well the Sunderland game, this wasn’t happening, that wasn’t. That game was the first time it was right across the board.
“I had seen some good things in the Arsenal game. In the Man United game, and even Liverpool to an extent.
“But that was the first time I saw something totally different.”
Meanwhile, Newcastle have cancelled their planned end-of-season awards night as officials felt a celebration would “not be appropriate” given the club’s plight near the foot of the league.