Since relegation became even a remote possibility, Mike Ashley has stayed away from the Newcastle matches.

The consensus amongst fans is that whilst he gets minions such as Lee Charnley and John Carver to tell the fans they should be going to the games to support the team as it is their duty. The Newcastle owner clearly sees that this disgraceful failure in the second half of the season is something that would cause even more damage to both his reputation and that of Sports Direct if he turns up.

Ashley’s dereliction of duty is of course a disgrace, taking the coward’s way out he has stayed away and left the likes of the clearly incapable Charnley and Carver to sink or swim.

Journalists though gave John Carver a noticeably much harder time than normal when he dealt with questions ahead of the crunch West Ham match.

With one reporter pointing out that John Carver has talked about collective responsibility a lot and yet the owner doesn’t bother turning up.

The question being whethe Mike Ashley will show on Sunday:

 ‘You say it’s a collective responsibility but Mike Ashley hasn’t been here for the last few games, is he planning on attending the West Ham game?’

(Carver) “To be honest, I don’t really know.

“What I will say is that before every game he has spoken to me and wished me all the best, gave me his backing one hundred per cent and that was encouraging for me.”

John Carver was also pressed on his claim that he expected big performances from his big players, the obvious question being that if this was the case then why hadn’t they done it in the last ten matches:

‘You say you expect big performances from big players on Sunday, why do you think they haven’t done it in the last ten games?’

“Well in the last ten games I think some of them have, I think we have been inconsistent, that’s for sure.

“But it’s not as if in the last ten games we have not had performances out of the big players.

“But it’s now all about that one game, this one cup final as we all keep talking about – the winner takes it all.”

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