BOSS John Carver says he has the “100 per cent” backing of Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley – despite the relegation-threatened club’s interest in luring Steve McClaren to St James’s Park.
Carver also insists he has not lost the dressing room ahead of tomorrow’s crucial home showdown with West Brom.
Newcastle are in danger of the drop after a diastrous eight-game losing streak and were interested in bringing in Derby County head coach McClaren – who had been the frontrunner to take over the Magpies in the summer – for the final three games of the Premier League season.
But McClaren opted to stay at Derby, who missed out on the Championship play-offs last weekend, and Newcastle confirmed on Monday that Carver would stay in charge.
Asked if he had spoken to Ashley, Carver said: “I’ve not had the conversation with him.
“He sent a message through Lee (Charnley, managing director) to say he was 100 per cent behind me. I have a good relationship with Lee – we are both honest and frank and he has been so supportive.”
Carver – who claimed defender Mike Williamson had been sent off “on purpose” against Leicester City last weekend – also feels he has the backing of the players.
Asked if everyone was behind him, he added: “Absolutely. I’m talking about Mike, Lee Charnley, all of the players and all of the staff – everybody.”
Carver’s squad has been rocked by a series of injuries and suspensions and they will be without banned defenders Williamson and Daryl Janmaat against a West Brom side fresh from winning away to Manchester United.
But 50-year-old Carver insists he remains “upbeat”, despite the Tynesiders’ dreadful form.
“I’ve got to deal with it,” said Carver. “What have I got to do? Crawl up into a ball and not take the challenge on?
“No, no. Let me tell you now, all this rubbish about me being fired, resigning, stepping aside, walking away – complete and utter rubbish.
“If you would have seen how upbeat I was on Monday morning. I surprised a few of the staff with how upbeat I was. It’s not good coming in here and feeling sorry for yourself.
“I had a healthy conversation with Lee Charnley. I got the backing from Mike Ashley. He (Charnley) never asked me to resign. I came in here Monday morning with the same enthusiasm I had in the Press conference and the same enthusiasm I’ll have tomorrow.
“I can’t say what I’ll be like on Sunday, (but) I can tell you how I’ve been this week.”