English Premiership

Magpies losing mental game - Carver

2015-05-01 17:35
John Carver (AP)

London - Newcastle boss John Carver has admitted his players are in danger of developing a mental block after an unwanted club record of seven consecutive Premier League defeats that has left them just five points above the relegation zone.

High-profile former Newcastle players Michael Owen and Alan Shearer have both claimed their old club will struggle to earn another point this season, as they aim to avoid a repeat of their performance in 2009 when they dropped into the Championship.

Interim head coach Carver's hopes of landing the role on a permanent basis have been ended by a run of just two wins in 16 games since taking temporary charge following Alan Pardew's departure to Crystal Palace in January.

Carver is set to welcome midfielder Moussa Sissoko back from suspension as Newcastle look to increase the four-point advantage on the Foxes.

The 50-year-old Carver admitted: "When you've not won a game for so long, it starts to play on your mind, it definitely does.

"But we've just got to concentrate on our performance levels and hopefully the results will come."

Former Ajax midfielder Siem de Jong is pushing for his first start since August, after ending an eight-month injury absence by coming off the bench to score in Newcastle's 3-2 defeat by Swansea.

Dutch defender Daryl Janmaat is expected to play despite being forced off against the Swans through illness.

Newcastle's lengthy injury list means Steven Taylor, Cheick Tiote, Rolando Aarons, Massadio Haidara and Rob Elliot are all unavailable, while top-scorer Papiss Cisse serves the last of a seven-game ban imposed for spitting in an incident with defender Jonny Evans during the 1-0 defeat by Manchester United in March.

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