JOHN Carver insists he will NOT step aside at Newcastle United – even though he fears some players aren’t listening to him.
Carver’s side slipped deeper into the relegation mire after an eighth successive defeat to Leicester City at the weekend.
If I’m honest, I have to admit there’s a chance they’re just not listening to me.
The performance at the King Power Stadium was one of the worst of the Premier League era.
And the loss left the club just two points above third-bottom Sunderland, who have a game in hand.
Many fans want head coach Carver to be relieved of his duties before Saturday’s home game against West Bromwich Albion given his dire record as head coach.
But the odds are stacked against Steve McClaren, the frontrunner to take the job in the summer, taking charge for the final three games of the season, despite Derby County’s campaign having ended at the weekend.
For his part, Carver – who accused United defender Mike Williamson of getting sent off “on purpose” – has no intention of stepping down.
“I’m not going anywhere until someone comes to me and tells me otherwise,” said Carver.
“I’m not a shirker, and I’m not going to hide from anyone. I’m going to stand there and take it, because I have to.”
Carver had a brief conversation with managing director Lee Charnley after the Leicester game.
He said: “I had a quick chat with Lee Charnley, but it was nothing serious.
“He was basically just asking how I was and how I was feeling. It was a nice, calm conversation.”
Newcastle have won just two of 16 league games under Carver, who took over from Crystal Palace-bound Alan Pardew at the turn of the year.
And, astonishingly, the 50-year-old has admitted that there is a chance some of his players simply are no longer listening to what he is saying on the training field and in the dressing room.
“If I’m honest, I have to admit there’s a chance they’re just not listening to me,” said Carver.
“That might be one factor of many, and you have to consider it. You have to consider it and take it into account.
“But it might be a lot of other things – we might not be good enough, we might not have enough desire to want to defend in the box or score at the other end.
“There’s lot of factors, but I won’t deny that (the players not listening) could be one of them.”
Meanwhile, Carver refused to talk about McClaren’s situation, only offering him “commiserations” over Derby’s failure to secure a play-off place.
Leicester caught Newcastle cold in the first minute.
The visitors got into a mess as they gave the ball away from the kick-off and Leicester charged forward to win a corner.
Marc Albrighton clipped in a cross and Leonardo Ulloa headed home, giving the hosts the lead with barely 30 seconds on the clock.
The decibel level seemed to increase again and Leicester continued to feed off the atmosphere as they sustained a spell of high intensity that earned a second goal within 17 minutes.
Ulloa had a header saved by Tim Krul and Jamie Vardy flicked a shot at the goalkeeper before Jeffrey Schlupp burst forward and won a free-kick outside the area.
Again Albrighton took the set-piece and again Leicester struck.
This time Ulloa failed to make firm contact with his header but Wes Morgan followed up behind him to turn the ball past Krul.
Early in the second half Emmanuel Riviere barged into Marcin Wasilewski to concede a penalty which Ulloa firmly rammed home.
Newcastle’s afternoon took another turn for the worse after 62 minutes when Williamson, booked just seven minutes earlier, sent Vardy crashing into a TV camera with a late knee-high challenge.
Referee Mike Dean showed a second yellow card and left the visitors to struggle on a man down.
And they suffered more misery just before the whistle as Daryl Janmaat was sent off after receiving his second yellow card for a tackle on Vardy.
Leicester: Schmeichel, Wasilewski (De Laet 68), Huth, Morgan, Albrighton, James, Cambiasso (Hammond 74), Schlupp, Mahrez, Vardy, Ulloa (Kramaric 78). Subs Not Used: Konchesky, Drinkwater, Schwarzer, Wood. Booked: James. Goals: Ulloa 1, Morgan 17, Ulloa 48 pen.
Newcastle: Krul, Janmaat, Williamson, Coloccini, Dummett, Colback, Ryan Taylor (De Jong 58), Gutierrez, Sissoko, Perez (Armstrong 74), Riviere (Anita 64). Subs Not Used: Cabella, Ameobi, Abeid, Woodman. Sent Off: Williamson (62), Janmaat (90). Booked: Janmaat, Gutierrez, Williamson, Dummett.
Att: 31,576 Ref: Mike Dean (Wirral).