Carver gets Newcastle backing

Newcastle United have released a statement backing head coach John Carver, who looks set to be retained until the end of the season.

John Carver looks set remain in charge of Newcastle United until the end of the season despite a run of eight successive Premier League defeats, with the club issuing a statement of support for the under-fire head coach.

Newcastle slumped to just two points above the relegation zone after Saturday's 3-0 loss to fellow strugglers Leicester City, as speculation over Carver's future intensified.

However, the club moved to quash rumours of the 50-year-old's departure on Monday, saying the focus is on securing top-flight safety.

"Following the result at Leicester City on Saturday, there has been two days of frank dialogue with John Carver and senior players," a statement read.

"The outcome of those discussions is that the board, John Carver, his staff and players are absolutely focused on our current situation and the three hugely important fixtures that remain this season, two of which are at St. James' Park.

"All parties accept responsibility for the current situation but are determined, together, to ensure this club - your club - retains its Premier League status.

"That is the only focus at this time."

Newcastle's season has been blighted by problems on and off the pitch with regular protests against owner Mike Ashley, and even boycotts by some sections of their supporters.

Carver stepped into the top job in January after Alan Pardew's departure to Crystal Palace, but has struggled under the pressure and clashed with some home fans after the defeat to Swansea City on April 25.

Only two wins have come under his stewardship – against Hull City and Aston Villa – and with nine points from a possible 51 the club have tumbled down the table.

Reports had suggested Derby County boss Steve McClaren could replace Carver until the end of the season, but Newcastle look to have entrusted the current incumbent to see them to safety.

Newcastle host West Brom on Saturday before a crucial relegation battle with QPR at Loftus Road, while they finish the campaign at home to West Ham on May 24.