JOHN Carver says Newcastle United’s fightback against Arsenal has set the team up for the Wear-Tyne derby.
Carver’s injury and suspension-hit side were beaten 2-1 at St James’s Park this afternoon.
Our preparation starts now for it, and we have got to get focused for it, because we have not had a win against them for a while.John Carver
Olivier Giroud struck twice in the first half for Arsenal, but Newcastle took the game to their visitors after the break.
Stand-in captain Moussa Sissoko netted in the 48th minute, and United pushed hard for an equaliser.
The result saw Newcastle drop down to 12th in the Premier League table – Alan Pardew’s Crystal Palace moved above them – but Carver was heartened by the character shown after the break.
“It’s good to put in a good performance just before a derby game,” said Carver.
“We have already touched on it because our preparation starts now for it, and we have got to get focused for it, because we have not had a win against them for a while.
“It’s very important that we are focused for it, and we will have a normal week.
“There is no time off this week, we will have a normal week, so our preparation starts now and we know it’s a big game.”
United – who have lost their last three derbies – take on relegation-threatened Sunderland at the Stadium of Light on April 5.