John Carver attempts to drag Newcastle back from the brink of disaster


Newcastle head coach John Carver is expecting an "electric" atmosphere as he attempts to drag the club back from the brink of disaster.

West Ham will arrive at St James' Park on Sunday to face a Magpies team knowing that anything short of a victory – something they have not managed since February – could prove fatal to their hopes of remaining in the Barclays Premier League.

Newcastle's dreadful run of one draw and nine defeats in their last 10 games has prompted a concerted backlash from fans, some of whom have boycotted home games in protest at the way the club is being run by owner Mike Ashley.

However, while the 'Ashley Out' group is calling on supporters to occupy St James' Park after the final whistle whatever happens on the pitch, the Toon Army are being urged to get behind the team for its most crucial 90 minutes in years.

Carver said: "I'm expecting this to be electric. Our fans don't want us to be in the Championship next season. I know for a fact for 90 minutes, it will be electric. I guarantee they'll be behind the team."

Asked about his reaction to the planned protest, he replied: "That's fine, they're entitled to do what they want to do. But for 90 minutes – like they did against West Brom – I'd ask them to get behind the team."

Newcastle's situation bears a striking resemblance to the one in which they found themselves six years ago when Alan Shearer had been appointed in a bid to pull off a rescue mission.

Shearer's Magpies went to Aston Villa on the last day of the campaign in a parlous position, and a 1-0 defeat sent them down.

But while there are parallels, Carver is hoping a crucial difference this time around will work in his favor with his side enjoying a two-point advantage over 18th-placed Hull, who have to beat Manchester United at the KC Stadium if they are to stand a chance of survival.

He said: "Six years ago, it wasn't in our hands. If we win on Sunday, we're not bothered about anybody else. Hull would love to be in our shoes.

"We're in this situation, we've got to deal with it. I feel like we've got to win. If we do that, we take care of our own business."


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