English Premiership

Carver ready for showdown

2015-05-17 13:48
John Carver (Getty Images)

London - Newcastle manager John Carver admits next weekend's final-day "do-or-die" showdown with West Ham will be one of the biggest matches in the club's history.

The Magpies' fight to stay in the Premier League will go down to their last game after Leroy Fer's stunning winner condemned them to a 2-1 defeat to already-relegated QPR on Saturday.

Newcastle remain just two points clear of 18th-placed Hull and only a victory at home to West Ham next weekend would leave them absolutely certain of survival due to the Tigers' superior goal difference.

Carver's side had led at half-time at Loftus Road following Emmanuel Riviere's first league goal yet once again the frailties which have characterised Newcastle's slide down the table under Carver in recent months were exposed.

Chris Ramsey's team responded with two second-half goals in seven minutes, with Matty Phillips and Fer restoring some pride following last weekend's humiliating thrashing by Manchester City which confirmed their relegation.

Carver now wants the embattled club to unite with its disenchanted support for next weekend's St James' Park showdown, which he has referred to as a do-or-die situation, as they bid to avoid a repeat of their disastrous relegation in 2009.

"I am really disappointed about today as I thought we were in control of the first half but 10 minutes after half-time we shot ourselves in the foot," he said.

"We could have put it to bed today but we haven't. This will be the biggest game this football club has had for a long, long time.

"I want the same atmosphere as we had against West Brom (in the 1-1 draw) last week as it could be the fans which get us over the line and keep our Premier League status.

"They want this team to stay in the Premier League and if it means them giving us that extra 5-10 percent that will keep us in the Premier League then we need it.

"Then once we get the season out of the way - and we have hopefully kept our Premier League status - then we can have the post-mortem."

Carver added that he would do everything in his power to keep his players' minds focused on the job in hand, but conceded he is unlikely to do anything different on the training field next week.

"I have tried everything in the book, we have eight days to get our heads around this situation," he said.

"It is still in our hands and if you want it enough then we can do something about it.

"I will try to keep it as low key as we can to maintain our focus."

Newcastle took the lead when Riviere got the wrong side of Steven Caulker before scuffing a shot beyond Rob Green.

But 10 minutes after the restart QPR got the equaliser their improvement deserved as Phillips rose highest at the far post to head home Charlie Austin's pinpoint delivery.

Seven minutes later the comeback was complete as Phillips showed commendable desire, beating Ryan Taylor to a ball he had no right to win before feeding Fer, who unleashed a 25-yard strike which arrowed into the top corner.

"I am not going to make excuses but when you look back at the season he has been a massive miss for us," Ramsey said of Fer.

"Unfortunately last weekend (against City) we didn't perform in a way that befits a club of this stature.

"It is important we finish the season strongly."

Ramsey is still waiting to discover whether he will be in charge next season and added: "Hopefully I will get the job. I am looking for the post everyday!"


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