NEWCASTLE United are short of a lot of things, notably players and points.
But John Carver, maybe surprisingly after a club record run of eight successive Premier League defeats, isn’t short of self-belief.
Carver still feels he can be the Magpies’ “Special One”.
The 50-year-old head coach – whose relegation-threatened side host West Brom at St James’s Park tomorrow – has insisted that he will “walk away” from the game the moment he loses his belief in his ability.
Carver, however, is aware that most fans do not share his own faith in his ability.
His record stands at two wins from 17 games.
And on last weekend’s evidence at Leicester – Carver’s side lost 3-0 after one of the most abject performances in the Tynesiders’ recent history – Newcastle’s days in the top flight could well be numbered.
“I have not lost my self-belief,” said Carver. “I still feel I am the best coach around.
“I tell you I ain’t lost my belief, and the day I lose my belief is the day I will do something totally different. I will walk away from it or retire.
“I would be wasting my time if I lost that.”
Carver feels the Magpies’ recent record is not a damning indictment on his coaching and managerial ability, but instead a reflection of the injuries and suspensions which have decimated an already-weak squad.
“It’s a tough time, but if I walk around with my face on the floor, it’s going to affect people around me,” said Carver.
“I’ve got good people around me who actually help me behind the scenes.
“I still have the enthusiasm for it. I try not to take as much notice of what’s going on on the outside because that can’t affect me.
“I still think I’m the best coach in the Premier League. That’s what I think. Now there’s nothing wrong with that.
“But I still do. If I have the right tools I can do the job. I’m doing the job to the best of my ability at the moment, and I’ll continue doing that for the next three weeks.”
United, two points above third-bottom Sunderland, could fall into the drop zone should they suffer a ninth straight loss against West Brom, who will be keen to take advantage of the vulnerability to set-pieces highlighted by Leicester.
Carver, however, is not contemplating the consequences of yet another defeat.
He said of his players: “They have shown me signs they want to address problems and do something about it now.
“The criticism they have had and we have all had – a lot of it is deserved, some of it is not. We collectively take responsibility. What I will say is that they realise they have to react to it.”