John Carver explains reason for Newcastle's wild celebrations after beating Tottenham

St James Park

The Magpies, relegated with a game to spare, thrashed high-flying Spurs 5-1 on Sunday.

Former Newcastle United manager John Carver has defended the side's celebrations after beating Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday, suggesting to Sky Sports that it was an outpouring of relief at finishing a dismal campaign on such a high note.

The Magpies' failure to win at already-relegated bottom side Aston Villa in their penultimate match ultimately proved fatal as they were relegated without playing four days later as arch-rivals Sunderland won their game in hand against Everton.

It was a devastating outcome for the Tyneside club, who had shown a spirited revival under Benitez in recent weeks, but they signed off on a remarkable high note by thrashing previously title-chasing Spurs 5-1 in the season closer at St. James' Park.

That win was sparked by mass celebrations from Benitez, his players, and the home supporters which appeared to many outsiders to be incongruous with the club's season.

However, Carver, who managed the club in the latter months of last season and guided the club to survival, stressed to Sky Sports that although all the staff are "disappointed" with their relegation, they were pleased to respond to the frustration of failing to beat Villa.

Carver said: "We knew the performance was in there somewhere but we just had to get it out of them, and it looks like Rafa's the guy who got it out of them, and it was so pleasing.

"Everybody's been quite critical on the celebrations and the players celebrating but you know, they were under a little bit of pressure, they had to put in a performance after the disappointing performance at Villa. They did that, and they answered one or two of their critics.

"Obviously, [we're] still disappointed that we've been relegated but this news could change within the next 24 or 48 hours if Rafa agrees to stay and lead the club through the Championship, which would give everybody a boost after the huge disappointment."

The primary issue for Newcastle now remains the future of Benitez, with fans chanting and displaying signs and banners on Sunday calling for the Spaniard to stay at the club.

Though the club would surely jump at the opportunity to keep the former Liverpool manager, the 56-year-old is thought to be considering his future, having now gone from Real Madrid to the Championship in just a few months.

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