JOHN Carver today made an emotional return to Newcastle United as assistant manager.
The 46-year-old has joined the club on a contract until the end of the season.
And Carver – who served as Sir Bobby Robson’s No2 – is relishing his return to St James’s Park, where he will serve under Alan Pardew after spells coaching at home and abroad.
“I am proud and honoured to be able to come back once again to my home town club,” said Carver.
“I have been lucky to be able to work around the world with some excellent people.
“However, I have always been a fan of this magnificent club and the years I spent working here were some of the happiest of my life.
“I am looking forward to working with Alan Pardew, and building on the recent strides that the club has taken to get back to where we belong, at the top of English football.
“I understand how much the club and the results mean to these wonderful fans, and I am delighted to be have the opportunity to assist Alan in delivering them the success they deserve.
”I would like to thank Mike (Ashley), Derek (Llambias) and Alan for giving me this incredible opportunity.”
Carver – whose playing career at Newcastle was cut short by injury before he was able to break into the first-team – completes Pardew’s backroom team.
Pardew has already appointed Steve Stone as first-team coach, and Andy Woodman to work with the club’s goalkeepers.
And the 49-year-old is confident he’s now got the balance right on the coaching staff, and while the initial contract only runs to the end of the season, he’d like Carver at his side beyond the end of the season.
“I’m delighted to be bringing John on board – he has an excellent track record as a coach, and, of course, knows this club very well,” said Pardew.
“It was crucial for me that I brought in an assistant who I knew would work well with the current coaching team we have here.
“We’ve got a good solid set-up, with some excellent staff, and maintaining that stability is very important to me. John fitted the bill perfectly.
“It’s a short term deal at the moment in order that I can get to know John better, and it gives us both the chance to see how the next four months pan out working together.
“That said, I’m very confident he’ll be a great addition to our coaching staff, and, hopefully, if things go well, we can make it a longer term appointment come the summer.”
Carver – who has also had spells at United’s Academy – worked with Steve Harper, Shola Ameobi and Steven Taylor during his time serving under Robson.
Most recently, he was first-team coach under former Newcastle midfielder Gary Speed at Sheffield United.