JOHN Carver admits he feels like Red Adair as he attempts to put out the fires threatening to engulf Newcastle’s season.
The Magpies head coach and his players will head for Everton today with the club’s hierarchy waiting until the summer to appoint a permanent replacement for Alan Pardew, without leading scorer Papiss Demba Cisse as he begins a seven-game ban for spitting and with a treatment room described by the 50-year-old as “Emergency Ward 10”.
Pardew spent much of his four years or so at St James’ Park having to deal with the unexpected, but Carver knows from his time working under former manager Sir Bobby Robson that that goes with the job.
He said: “I feel like Red Adair, just call me that. Sir Bobby was the same. But that comes with the package at this football club for some reason, you have to fight fires.
“You have to deal with it, or else you’ll get burnt.”
For all the difficulties Carver faces this weekend, it is opposite number Roberto Martinez whose problems are more pressing.
Newcastle head into the weekend sitting in 11th place in the Barclays Premier League table on 35 points, three places and seven points better off than the Toffees, whose Europa League exploits have taken a toll on domestic affairs.
Carver knows all about that after he and Pardew struggled to manage the competing demands of European and Premier League football during the 2012-13 season, and he believes former Wigan boss Martinez is doing a good job despite the pair locking horns over Callum McManaman’s horror challenge on Massadio Haidara during that campaign.
He said: “He’s done a good job. He plays the game the right way - whether Everton fans agree, I don’t know.
“I remember the little tussle we had at Wigan when McManaman made that awful tackle on Haidara - it got a little bit fiery that day. Normally he’s very calm and composed and is a nice guy.”