John Carver had assured fans in the lead up to Saturday’s match that Mike Ashley hadn’t ordered him to play a weakened team v Leicester.

The caretaker boss further assured fans that he would play his strongest team.

weakened team v LeicesterIn the event, Carver made seven changes to the team that started against Burnley.

Moussa Sissoko, Fabricio Coloccini, Ayoze Perez, Jack Colback, Daryl Janmaat – Newcastle’s five best players, were all missing against Leicester in the starting eleven, along with Yoan Gouffran and the injured Steven Taylor.

The local press reported various injuries just before kick-off and while you could expect the odd player to be protected from games in quick succession – can it really be coincidence that our best five players were all not able to play?

After the final whistle at Leicester we put up a poll to ask supporters whether or not they believed Mike Ashley had ordered a weakened team to be played in the FA Cup.

The result was a landslide.

A massive 85% of fans believe that Mike Ashley had sent down orders for a weakened team v Leicester to be played, while only 15% thought he hadn’t interfered with team selection.

Considering the abysmal FA Cup record overall under Mike Ashley and the repeated weakening of teams put out, particularly by Alan Pardew, little wonder fans are so suspicious of what goes on at Newcastle United.

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