Carver haunted by Shearer pain


Carver – who was on the coaching staff at St James’ Park under Sir Bobby Robson – had left the club by the time playing legend Shearer was drafted in to attempt to keep the club in the Premier League in 2009.

It was an appointment which was to end in failure on the final day of the campaign as a 1-0 defeat at Aston Villa condemned Newcastle to the Championship.

Carver witnessed Shearer’s pain from afar on a pub television screen and as he prepares for a similarly crticial clash with West Ham at St James’ Park on Sunday, he has no intention of suffering a similar fate.

“I remember seeing Alan on the pitch afterwards, watching it on the TV, and on that day I genuinely didn’t speak for an hour afterwards,” Carver recalled.

“I thought, ‘I hope that never, ever happens to me’.

“As it happens, I saw him the other day and we talked about what his feelings were, and I told him what I felt at the time. I just said, ‘I hope I don’t have to experience that’. Hopefully, I don’t.”

Carver revealed that two veterans from that relegation at Villa Park six years ago – skipper Fabricio Coloccini and fellow Argentine Jonas Gutierrez – had shared their experiences at a team meeting earlier this week.

He added: “They’ve experienced this – Ryan Taylor and Tim Krul were here as well – so they know what it feels like. I talked about their experiences and how they had to deal with what came next, because it wasn’t nice.”

But Carver has resisted the temptation to show the current crop of players footage of that day, but did consider using an inspirational collage of images before thinking better of it.

He said: “I considered showing them something to reinforce what it’s like to be in the Premier League compared to what it’s like to be in the next division down – ‘This is what it’s like to go to Old Trafford, the Emirates and Stamford Bridge’ compared to ‘This is what it’s like to go to the lesser clubs with a smaller changing room and all of that’.

“I thought about showing them the fans after the Aston Villa game, but I decided against it because I think if you can’t motivate yourself for a game as big as this when you’ve got so much to play for, then no matter what I show you, it’s not going to make any difference.”