John Carver has revealed that he has received support from Derby County manager Steve McClaren, the favourite to replace him at Newcastle, as he attempts to arrest the Tyneside club’s alarming slide.
A club-record run of seven consecutive defeats has left Newcastle looking anxiously over their shoulders towards the relegation zone with five Premier League matches remaining.
McClaren has been strongly linked with a move to St James’ Park at the end of the season and interim head coach Carver discussed his role with the former England manager at an Under-21 fixture between the two clubs on Monday.
Carver said: “Yes, I spoke to Steve McClaren at Derby. I had a good chat with Steve McClaren.
“We didn’t talk about anything other than my situation and about what my players are doing on the pitch. It was all about me and how I had to cope with it.
“He said, ‘It’s been a difficult thing for you, John, I understand that. But you’ve handled it quite well. You’ve had to cope with it’.”
When asked if McClaren had declared his interest in the Newcastle job, Carver stressed: “No, no, absolutely not. Absolutely, 100 per cent. He just asked how I was coping with it, how I was dealing with it.
“Steve and I go back – and Steve Round [a part-time coach at Derby] and Paul Simpson [Derby assistant coach], who were there – we were all on that same Pro Licence course together.
“When you go on these courses and spend two weeks with them, living with them, you get to know them. I spoke to the other two lads as well.
“It was all about the situation here. There was nothing about what all the rumours are or anything like that. Because they had to give me some respect as well.
“Whether they are in for it or not, they have to give me the respect so they were never going to talk about anything like that.”
Newcastle face a trip to fellow strugglers Leicester City on Saturday, while McClaren’s Derby need a point at home to Reading to seal a place in the Championship play-offs.
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