John Carver and Alan Pardew

By Tom Easterby


Newcastle United boss Alan Pardew says assistant manager John Carver is the perfect man to guide the team to victory at Fulham on Saturday.

Carver is well-equipped to step into the managerial breach, having already had a brief spell as caretaker-manager in 2004 when he guided United to a 3-0 victory against Blackburn Rovers.

Now, with Pardew set to begin a three-match touchline ban, the Magpies' manager insists the long-serving Carver's know-how will stand the team in good stead in his absence.

"He's been caretaker-manager of this Club before, and he's got vast experience," he said, ahead of the weekend trip to Craven Cottage.

"He knows our fans inside and out, and he knows what they expect, and I expect him to deliver that from the sideline even though I'm not there.

"The gameplan is in place. We all know what it is. John Carver knows that gameplan inside out and I have absolute 100 per cent trust in him to deliver that gameplan onto the pitch."

Pardew says he hasn't yet decided whether or not he'll be in contact with Carver and his coaching staff during Saturday's game, but reiterated his faith in his right-hand man.

"It's something that I'll have to think about between now and the weekend, because when you're on the side of the pitch you can see a bigger picture," he said.

"I'm going to have to trust John's gut feeling on how the game's evolving. He's worked with me long enough to know what I expect, what the players expect, the work rate we expect from the players and also the very nature of the way we play.

"At this time, where I'm sitting here now, I have more faith in John perhaps carrying the flag for three games."

Newcastle will also be buoyed by the return to fitness of skipper Fabricio Coloccini, who will return to the Toon backline in the capital after a family bereavement. Pardew believes that his senior players, including his captain, need to demonstrate their leadership qualities in the next few weeks.

"Colo is going to be important. He'll come back into the team," he said.

"His captaincy needs to step up a level for the next three games, and I spoke to the group about that this morning. I hope that the gameplan will work, and that John's job is not as difficult as perhaps it could be."