Newcastle cult hero: Why John Carver cannot be judged this season

Olivier Bernard believes injuries have prevented John Carver making an impact as Newcastle United boss.

Carver was appointed Magpies head coach following Alan Pardew’s departure to Crystal Palace, and former Newcastle cult hero Olivier Bernard told the Chronicle that it is wrong to judge him right now.

“There are too many injuries,” the full-back said. “It’s hard to judge him because of that. It’s a paper-thin squad due to many reasons. He needs five players at least to make things better for the team.”

Carver has been unfortunate in his short spell in charge at St James’ Park, but he has still done little to prove himself a worthy full-time boss. He has claimed just two wins from eight games and, although ravaged by injury, performances have been far below that expected form the Magpies.

Realistically, the Tyneside club have played 45 minutes of good football since his appointment, having shown a wealth of character in the second half against Arsenal just prior to the international break - despite losing 2-1.

The Magpies' next fixture is against Sunderland, and picking up a result in the Wear-Tyne derby could do much to improve Carver’s case for getting a permanent role in charge at the end of the season. His squad is still injury-hit, but if he can motivate the fit players to put in a top class performance to claim victory, it will show that he has the desire to be named permanent boss, and maybe the biggest skill necessary - strength of character.

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