Carver given a boost by Newcastle owner Ashley

FANS' PROTEST ... Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley.
FANS' PROTEST ... Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley.

JOHN Carver has been given an extra lift ahead of tonight’s game against Manchester United – thanks to a “positive” meeting with Mike Ashley.

Ashley congratulated Carver in person after Newcastle United’s 1-0 home win over Aston Villa.

When it’s a nice conversation, it’s pleasurable

Miles Starforth

The club’s billionaire owner – and managing director Lee Charnley – spoke to Carver, who hopes to take the job on beyond the end of the season.

Carver feels he must guide the 11th-placed club to a top-10 finish to have a chance of becoming Alan Pardew’s permanent successor.

And a victory over Louis van Gaal’s side at St James’s Park would see Newcastle keep pace with the three teams ahead of them in the table – Stoke City, West Ham United and Swansea City.

Asked what he could do to enhance his job prospects, Carver said: “Without speaking to Lee or Mike about it, my target is to get in the top 10 – that’s how I see it.

“Their message to me is get on with the team and do as best you can.”

Carver speaks to Charnley, put in charge of finding a successor to Pardew after he left the club for Crystal Palace at the turn of the year, on a day-to-day basis.

But the 50-year-old rarely speaks to Ashley, who also owns a stake in troubled Scottish Championship club Rangers.

“He was pleased,” said Carver.”He came down with Lee. We had a discussion, which was good. He’s delighted with the way things are going.

“Without going into details – it was a private conversation – I did speak to him, and it was a nice conversation.

“He was pleased. He still feels like everybody else does – we needed to win that game. He understood what it meant. There was so much pressure – he felt the pressure himself.

“We all did. That’s the type of people we are. We’re winners – we want to win.

“To come down there and have a real nice positive conversation was great. I haven’t had many conversations with him, because he’s the owner and my job is the head coach.

“When you do have a conversation, and it’s a nice conversation, it’s pleasurable.”

“But I don’t need to speak to the owner, and he doesn’t need to speak to me. I have a line management through Lee Charnley, and we speak on a daily basis. That’s all I need.”

Newcastle are set to announce a sizeable profit for the last financial year, but Carver maintains that Ashley is as enthusiastic about the football as the balance sheet.

“Of course he is kicking every ball – you can see that,” said Carver.

“When he came to the football club, I saw that. When you get involved in football and you like football, you have this drive and enthusiasm, and he has still got all that.”