JOHN Carver says he’s got the hardest job in football at Newcastle United – and only masochists need to apply for the post!
But Carver insists that the head coach position is his “dream job” – despite the challenges in front of him and the flak coming his way.
I think it is the hardest job in football, definitely. I don’t manufacture anything – I don’t do that. Straight and honest, that’s me.John Carver
The 50-year-old is in charge for the rest of the season.
Derby County head coach Steve McClaren is the frontrunner to take the job on in the summer.
And one bookmaker yesterday slashed the odds on McClaren taking over to 1/20.
But Carver – whose side take on Tottenham Hotspur at St James’s Park tomorrow looking to end a run of five Premier League defeats – still hopes to get the job on a permanent basis.
However, the boyhood Newcastle fan has found some of the criticism aimed at him since he stepped up after Alan Pardew’s departure at the turn of the year hard to take.
“It’s the dream job,” said Carver. “This is the dream job, but the hardest thing is taking the criticism off your own people.
“That’s the bit I find really, really difficult. Some of it is deserved, and some of it is not.”
United’s squad has been decimated by a series of injuries and suspensions since Carver succeeded Pardew.
And Carver – whose side is 13th in the league table – feels he is getting the best out of the players he has at his disposal.
“Sometimes you’re dealt the hand, and you’ve got to get on with it and this is the hand I’ve been dealt,” said he added. “When I took it on, if I hadn’t accepted or if I didn’t want it, then I would have been kicking myself.
“I wasn’t going to not accept it, not have a go at it. I’ve said this to you, I genuinely believe that if I’ve got the right tools I can do the job.
“And I think I’m getting the best out of the players I’m putting out on the pitch at the moment, but it is bittersweet.
“It’s bittersweet and it’s definitely a rollercoaster.
He added: “I think it is the hardest job in football, definitely. I don’t manufacture anything – I don’t do that. Straight and honest, that’s me.”
Newcastle are nine points above the relegation zone, and Carver is focused on ending the
club’s slump and securing the club’s top-flight status for another season.
Asked if he still wanted the job, he said: “Absolutely, but I’ve got a short-term plan – the next six games.
“After that it’ll take care of itself.”
And asked if an element of masochism is needed to do the job, he said: “I was going to try and say that, but I don’t think I can pronounce the word masochist. That’s the word I was looking for.”