JOHN Carver has backed Alan Pardew to one day become England manager.
Pardew left Newcastle United to take over at Crystal Palace at the turn of the year, and the teams clash tomorrow at Selhurst Park.
The 53-year-old’s Newcastle team had endured a wretched 2014 on the field at St James’s Park – and he had been the subject of long-standing, and vocal, protests from fans.
Pardew – who claimed he was “not expecting or hoping for any reaction” from travelling fans at Selhurst Park – is likely to get a rough ride from United’s travelling fans.
But Carver – Pardew’s No 2 during his four years on Tyneside – feels his former colleague, battling to keep Palace in the Premier League, could yet go on to manage his country.
“Alan can definitely be a future England manager, because he has the temperament,” said Carver.
“The England manager gets criticised by everyone!
“He only has two competitions he can win – the World Cup and Euros – and they’re only every two years.
“There would be big pressure on, but he could deal with it.”
Pardew has previously admitted he would love to manage England, but he never discussed the ambition with Carver and his backroom team during his time at United.
“He didn’t talk about it,” said Carver, appointed head coach until the end of the season.
“Me, Woody and Steve Stone would have a laugh and joke about it – we’d say ‘do you think he will take us to England with him?’
“That was us – we’d have a bit of craic in the golf club. He was focused on this job, we used to have a laugh and joke about it.”
Carver, brought back to St James’s Park by Pardew, feels Pardew’s record at United stands up to scrutiny given the tight financial parameters within which he had to work.
“His legacy is a fantastic one,” said Carver.
“We talk sometimes about the conditions you have to work under. We all know we don’t spend millions. We don’t spend what Chelsea and Manchester City do.
“He had a side he inherited and he worked with them and got the best out of them and in the season we finished fifth (in the Premier League) was incredible.
“In modern-day football, it was an incredible achievement.
“There was the extra burden of European football the following year.
“There’s only really Tottenham who have done OK in terms of the league with European football, but they have spent £100m plus on their squad.
“They’ve got a group of players who can cope with all the football.
“I wasn’t surprised what happened to us the season that followed us finishing fifth. The workload was too much and we didn’t have enough to cope.”