Carver plans Newcastle clear-out


Published: Saturday 21st March 2015 by The News Editor

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John Carver has admitted there will be a clear-out at Newcastle this summer as the club prepares to address the deficiencies within the squad.

The Magpies have stalled since making a creditable start to the campaign with injuries and suspensions having exposed the lack of depth in a group of players assembled within the confines of owner Mike Ashley’s strict financial policy.

Carver, who stepped into the head coach role at St James’ Park in the wake of Alan Pardew’s departure for Crystal Palace, has already been involved in discussions with managing director Lee Charnley designed to identify what is required, and he is expecting something of an exodus.

He said: “They [the hierarchy] know there has to be a clear-out. It’s pretty obvious to the man in the street and to the professionals. It has to be done.

“There are people out of contract, there are people who are not good enough – they know that, and I am telling you now, because I have been part of it in the last few weeks, there are things in place.”

Carver admits there are players in the squad who are playing for their futures in the remaining weeks of the season, starting with Arsenal’s visit to Tyneside on Saturday.

For that reason, he insists that no-one has downed tools and headed for the beach, a suggestion from Match of the Day pundit Phil Neville which clearly riled the 50-year-old.

Carver said: “We all are [playing for futures], absolutely, and that’s why I was a bit astonished when people came out and talked about us being on the beach and wearing flip-flops.

“How can players do that when they know that everybody is playing for their futures?”

Carver’s own future remains highly uncertain with Newcastle having won only two of the 11 games they have played in all competitions under his charge, although there are mitigating factors.

A lengthy injury list shows little sign of abating, in the short term at least, while skipper Fabricio Coloccini has joined striker Papiss Cisse in the Football Association’s bad books after failing in an appeal to have his red card at Everton last Sunday overturned.

As a result, he will attempt to mould together a team from a pool of only 13 fit senior outfield players, a challenge he admits is far from ideal against a Gunners side looking for a seventh successive league victory.

He said: “I’ve never been in a position like this and I don’t think anybody I’ve ever worked with has ever had a situation like this.

“I remember a couple of seasons ago we went down to Norwich and we had to play Danny Simpson and James Perch as centre-backs and they had the two big guys up front who gave us a problem. That was harsh, but not as harsh as this. Definitely not.

“I’m missing my best players, and that’s how I look at it. With Cisse, it’s like Tottenham being without Harry Kane; with [Siem] de Jong, it’s like them being without Christian Eriksen.”

Coloccini’s absence means Mike Williamson is Carver’s only available specialist central defender, and he will have little option but to play Holland international full-back Daryl Janmaat alongside him.

He said: “He’s a great professional and he will deal with it. He understands the game. He is a full international. It’s another string to his bow. I think he’ll cope with it.

“He’s been great around the place. He’s such a character. He’s larger than life and he’s quite funny, but he’s a good professional.

“When we lost Mathieu Debuchy [to Arsenal], that was harsh, but we replaced him with a better all-round player.”

Published: Saturday 21st March 2015 by The News Editor

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