Players have to face up – Carver

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Published: Sunday 3rd May 2015 by The News Editor

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Embattled Newcastle boss John Carver called on his players to “face up” as the crisis engulfing the club deepened with a shattering defeat at Leicester.

The Magpies were reduced to nine men as they crashed 3-0 at the King Power Stadium on Saturday, an eighth successive loss that continued their plunge towards relegation trouble.

Carver tore into his players after the game, and even accused defender Mike Williamson of getting himself sent off deliberately in a passionate outburst.

Carver’s record since taking charge at St James’ Park is dismal, having overseen just two wins in 17 games.

Fans have been protesting at the way the club is run and jeering at players for their poor performances and, with the team now just two points above the relegation zone, the situation is becoming very serious.

But Carver – despite increasing speculation over his future – insists he will not hide and wants his players to follow suit.

He said: “If someone was having a go at me I would want to prove a point – and I have had a lot of that over the last few weeks. I ain’t crumbled, I ain’t disappeared. I still come out here and stand up to be counted. It is important. I am not a shirker.

“I am an honest, straight guy and face it head-on. The day I don’t do that, I may as well forget it. The players have to be the same. They have to face up.

“If they don’t grow up and take it on the chin – go and hide behind a post. That is how seriously I feel about it.”

Williamson was the chief target of Carver’s ire, suggesting he may have taken “the easy out” in getting himself dismissed the team already 3-0 down.

Williamson was given a second yellow card for a late and high tackle on Jamie Vardy that sent the Leicester man crashing into a TV camera.

But Daryl Janmaat later followed him for earning a second booking in injury time and only Jack Colback and Tim Krul escaped Carver’s criticism.

The frustration of fans was clear in the banner they held up during the game criticising the club and when they booed players at the final whistle.

Defender Paul Dummett said: “I am a fan just like they are and I feel the way they feel – very frustrated. We’re massively frustrated and we need to put it right next week.”

Leicester are still a point behind Newcastle but difference in mood between the two clubs was stark.

Despite their midweek setback against Chelsea, the Foxes have been a team transformed over the past month and, after five wins in six, they seem to be heading in the opposite direction.

The stadium was rocking even before kick-off and the decibel level increased considerably when Leonardo Ulloa scored the first of his two goals inside the first minute.

The tone had been set when Newcastle gave the ball away from the opening kick-off and it was no surprise when Wes Morgan added a deserved second after 17 minutes.

Newcastle had a promising spell late in the first half but that probably had more to do with Leicester’s energy levels dropping after a start of such high intensity.

The hosts returned refreshed after the break and put the result beyond doubt after 48 minutes when Ulloa struck from the spot after Emmanuel Riviere fouled Marcin Wasilewski.

From Newcastle’s point of view the rest of the game was a shambles, with the two men dismissed for hacking at Vardy. Only the brilliance of Krul denied Ulloa a hat-trick.

Any suggestion that last week’s “ostrich” spat between Leicester manager Nigel Pearson and a journalist might have unsettled the Foxes was emphatically dismissed.

With such spirit, Leicester are confident of survival but three games still remain and the job is not yet done.

Ulloa told the club’s website, www.lcfc.com: “We knew we had four finals, now we have three.

“But it was a very important result, and not just the result – it was also important the feeling we had. We had control of the game.

“But we need to think about the next game now. If we can win it is three important points for us.”

Published: Sunday 3rd May 2015 by The News Editor

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