Carver hopes to snap derby streak

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Published: Friday 3rd April 2015 by The News Editor

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Newcastle head coach John Carver is determined not to have the blemish of a fifth successive defeat by arch-rivals Sunderland on his CV.

The 50-year-old Geordie will take his team to the Stadium of Light on Sunday for the first time as the man in charge, but after being Alan Pardew’s assistant as the Black Cats ran up four victories on the trot against the old enemy, agonisingly three of them at St James’ Park.

Carver simply cannot countenance a continuation as he attempts to prove he is the man to replace Pardew on a permanent basis, with Sunderland attempting to complete a double after winning 1-0 on Tyneside in December.

He said: “It always hurts to lose to Sunderland – it’s the manner of a couple of those defeats. Earlier this season, it was a tight one and we threw caution to the wind because we wanted to win the game.

“We don’t want to make it five straight defeats.”

Carver will not be the only native Tynesider in the away dressing room despite the absence of home-grown players Steven Taylor and Paul Dummett through injury, but he is adamant that even the overseas imports within the squad know just how important the game is without being told by either himself or coach Steve Stone.

He said: “It’s a big occasion. A lot of people out there say that because we’ve got a lot of foreign players, they don’t know what the game means, but that’s an easy excuse.

“With the staff we’ve got here, we drum it into them every single day. Some of those players have witnessed what it means to us all losing,

“When they have to go to the shop and buy the newspapers, it’s a difficult situation, and what’s happened over the last four games. They’ll have felt a bit of hurt because I have, and that can spur you on.

“You have to cope with the heat of the derby, it can make you or break you.”

Carver, whose squad has been significantly depleted by injury and suspension in recent weeks, may be able to call upon holding midfielder Mehdi Abeid following his recovery from a thigh problem, although he will not risk winger Rolando Aarons despite his return to training following a hamstring tear.

However, full-back Massadio Haidara will not play again this season after undergoing surgery to remove a cyst from his knee.

Published: Friday 3rd April 2015 by The News Editor

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