JOHN Carver says he’s Newcastle United’s “Miserable One” – and NOT the club’s “Special One”.
But Carver says he hasn’t stopped smiling since being appointed head coach until the summer.
The 50-year-old had been put in interim charge after Alan Pardew’s departure for Crystal Palace a month ago.
Carver was backed for the job by Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho, who famously labelled himself the “Special One” after first taking charge at Stamford Bridge.
Boyhood Newcastle fan Carver is looking for his team to get their first win since Pardew quit the club when they take on Hull City at the KC Stadium tomorrow.
Asked about his feelings about taking the job, Carver said: “You can see the smile on my face – I don’t smile too often, trust me.
“You ask any of those guys in there, they call me the miserable one, not the chosen one!
“But I’m so proud, because I’m a fan. But I’m professional enough to do the job.
“When it comes to being a fan or professional coach, I know what sticks out. It’s the professional coach.”
The challenge for Carver is to lift the club up the table over the coming weeks and months.
United managing director Lee Charnley said after Carver’s appointment that the club’s target remains a top-10 finish. The club is 11th in the Premier League ahead of the Hull game.
“I am quite excited now, and I know that is a bit of a pressurised question on me,” said Carver. “But I believe I can with the players coming back into the squad now.
“Other than Steven Taylor – who is out long term – we have almost got everyone close within two or three weeks, give or take not losing anybody. With a fully fit squad, why not?
Glenn Roeder guided Newcastle into Europe while in caretaker charge nine years ago, and Carver, looking to persuade Charnley that he can do the job beyond this season, is aiming high.
“I think Lee has come out and said it’s our goal to finish in the top 10,” said 50-year-old Carver. “If we get 10th, ninth, eighth, seventh at a push ... why not? That’s how I’m looking at it.
“We’ve got 16 games left, but why can’t we go on a run? I’ve seen enough in the last three or four games, taking the cup game out of it, for us to go on a run.
“The most important thing is getting that first win, and it has to come soon.”
Carver said yesterday in his pre-match Press conference that he didn’t expect the club to sign a senior player in this month’s transfer window, despite weaknesses in his squad.
But Carver, for his part, feels the squad WILL be strong enough once players return from injury.
“I’ve got enough belief in my ability, and the good news is that we’re getting players back,” he said. “Our squad is getting stronger – I’m really encouraged by that.”