Newcastle United v West Brom: Carver calls on fans to show support
Newcastle United's under-pressure head coach John Carver has pleaded with the fans to get behind the team as they look to arrest an alarming run of form against West Brom.
Carver's side have lost their last eight Premier League matches, a run that has seen them slide to 15th in the table, just two points above fierce rivals Sunderland, who occupy the final relegation spot.
Some sections of the club's supporters have voiced their disapproval during recent games, while others have opted to boycott altogether.
Owner Mike Ashley has also come in for criticism after a perceived lack of investment in the squad, but with West Brom visiting St James' Park on Saturday, Carver has called on the Newcastle faithful to put their grumbles to one side and help the team in their bid to achieve safety.
"Forget about what people think of me and the footballers, get behind the football club and the team," he said.
"Because we want to be in the Premier League next year. And then we'll get to the summer, have a post-mortem and say what you want to say.
"For now, for the next three games, get behind the team to keep this football club stay in the Premier League. It's been a tough period but I have a spring in my step and am ready to go for the next three games."
Carver must contend without the suspended duo of Mike Williamson and Daryl Janmaat, although Papiss Cisse returns after a seven-match ban for spitting at Manchester United's Jonny Evans.
The likes of Siem de Jong (thigh), Paul Dummett (hamstring), Cheick Tiote (knee), Adam Armstrong (thigh) and Massadio Haidara (knee) are all rated as doubts for the game, further adding to Carver's headaches.
West Brom, meanwhile, have no such concerns, comfortably placed in 13th and seven points from danger.
After three successive defeats, Tony Pulis' side have improved their fortunes in recent weeks, taking seven points from games against Crystal Palace, Liverpool and Manchester United.
The visitors kept clean sheets in all three of those outings and striker Saido Berahino says the influence of head coach Pulis is evident for all to see.
"He's come in and is known for what he does, which is being an organised coach," the England Under-21 international said.
"He gets the team defending really well and that's what he's brought to the club. We've got 15 clean sheets now so we've been doing really well at not letting goals in and doing that has given us that platform, that chance to get points on the board."
West Brom's only injury doubt surrounds midfielder James Morrison, who missed the 1-0 win at Old Trafford with a knock.