John Carver is clearly finding it a hard job to convince the Newcastle fans that he is the right man to lead the club.
More problematic, at least in the short-term, is that the new/temporary Newcastle head coach is finding it just as difficult with his players.
While the club have lined up a number of player quotes saying how great Carver is and that they want him to get the job, the head coach’s own words seem to suggest something else.
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Before Manchester City he’d already talked ‘tough’ on occasion but in several interviews since that crushing five goal defeat, John Carver has made specific references to players shouldn’t talk behind people’s backs and now the Shields Gazette have quotes from him saying he won’t stand for ‘backbiting’ or ‘sniping’.
“The one thing about this situation is that in life you are going to get days like that (Man City last Saturday) – it is how you deal with it.
“I am quite a positive guy and I will pick the bones out of this and I will take some responsibility because I am part of the team and that dressing room.
“What I won’t have though is anyone backbiting, or anyone sniping.”
The thing about discipline and respect is that it has to come naturally and it has to be earned. Anybody old enough will remember Graeme Souness was supposed to come in and crack the whip, but all he did was fall out with most of our decent players such as Bellamy who left for a pittance because of the conflict between the pair.
John Carver may have been matey with the players as an assistant but making the step up to take full responsibility is looking beyond him at the minute.
Only results can save him, at least in the fans’ eyes, and to have any chance of picking up wins he needs to get the players showing on the pitch that they are with him, rather than the empty words put out by the club.