John Carver has given his latest interview on Newcastle United with only six days to go until the crunch game at Carrow Road.
Alan Pardew’s former assistant says that Rafa Benitez is the best Manager Newcastle have attracted since Sir Bobby Robson – the best Manager after already having had the Premier League’s best coach…
John Carver thinks that Newcastle’s survival rests on four of the eight games that are left, claiming that the home matches with Palace and Swansea are winnable, along with the trips to Norwich and Villa.
He also believes that 12 points from those matches would be more than enough for safety, as Carver reckons that rather than the usual 40 points that as seen as a survival target, only 35 or 36 points will probably be needed this season.
On that basis, everybody from Swansea (currently 36 points) upwards are already safe, whilst even Pardew and Palace will surely crawl to that total from their current 33 points.
After four points from their last two matches, Norwich will now be fancying their chances of picking up at least another seven or eight to take them onto at least that 35/36 point zone. However, much will depend on their next three games against Newcastle (Home), Palace (Away) and Sunderland (Home).
I have to find myself agreeing with John Carver on something, when he says that the Norwich game is bigger than last weekend’s derby – even if only because that is now in the past and can’t be changed.
It would be a massive three points if Newcastle can do it – but also hopefully successful in halting the momentum they look as though they could be building up (two clean sheets and a point from Man City & win at West Brom).
John Carver thinks that the more positivity that everybody has, the better the chance of the players getting the necessary points to stay up.
At some point though, it is the team themselves who have to be the ones who supply the positivity by what they do on the pitch.
Something that is long overdue.
John Carver speaking on Sky Sports’ Goals on Sunday:
“It (Rafa Benitez) is a brilliant appointment, and one of the best we’ve had in all honesty since Bobby Robson.
“It is a great coup for Lee Charnley and he’s been under massive amounts of pressure, so he had to go and get somebody with the CV that Rafa has.
“I will be interested to see how he deals with this different type of pressure because as we all know in the North East, it’s a huge pressure, but I’m sure he can deal with it. When you have gone to a club like Real Madrid, you can deal with anything.
“If we do stay up, I’m sure Rafa is going to stay and build up something within the club. Last week, he was down at the training ground talking to the young players and staff down there.
“It’s why we need to stay in the Premier League because we need Rafa to take this club onto another level.
“I have still got hope that we can get out of this. I think that from the last eight games, we have four winnable matches.
“I think the game against Norwich is bigger than the derby game last week and we have to go there thinking we can win it.
We have also got Swansea at home, Aston Villa away and Crystal Palace at home so they are four games that Rafa will certainly target as games that we can win.
“I think the points total this year is going to be really low, about 35/36 points. We can target those four games and get four wins – I think we have only got six all season so it is going to be tough.
“My outlook is that the more people that are positive about it around the place – and there is that feeling because Rafa has come into the club – then it generates this good vibe around the place and I am keeping everything crossed. This club has got to stay in the Premier League.”