The Magpies are still to appoint a permanent replacement for Alan Pardew and Carver’s teamtalk against the visiting Saints on Saturday is likely to feature their 4-0 demolition at St Mary’s four months ago.??
Carver and a travelling supporter locked horns before kick-off on the south coast on September 13 last year as the then assistant manager objected to anti-Pardew banners being unfolded.
However, the shambolic performance and heavy defeat proved to be something of a turning point as it was followed by a run of 10 games in all competitions which brought only one defeat and six successive wins.
Carver said: “It was absolutely the worst day of my time at the club, one of the darkest days of my life to be honest. I was embarrassed to be part of Newcastle United coaching staff.
“Yes we played against a good side, but we created nothing on the day and they could have won it by six or seven and that’s not right. I’ve got to be honest, I feared the worst for the season that night. It stayed with me for a long time.”
Four months on, Pardew, much to the delight of his most vociferous critics, has moved on to Crystal Palace and Carver is currently filling his shoes as Newcastle look for a new head coach.
The caretaker has made it clear he wants the job, but one of his priorities will now now involve finally integrating summer signing Remy Cabella into the team after a slow start to his career on Tyneside.
With signs the 24-year-old Frenchman has finally found his feet in last weekend’s 2-0 defeat at Chelsea, Carver added: “I’m not a bully, but I did threaten him before the game because I know he’s got talent, he’s got a huge amount of talent.
“But with talent, you have got to have hard work, like Cristiano Ronaldo does and Gareth Bale and [Lionel] Messi and all the top players.”
Saturday’s game will see Southampton’s Fraser Forster return to St James’ Park and a fond reunion with the man who gave him his big chance when as Academy director, he sent his scout out to find him a goalkeeper.
Carver said: “He came back with this name Fraser Forster from the Royal Grammar School, and I thought, ‘Royal Grammar School? That’s a rugby school’.
“He said, ‘But he’s 6’7”, he’s a big lad, and I said, ‘Let’s go and get him’, so we got him, we signed him. We sat down with his mum and dad and they were more bothered about his education than goalkeeping.
“I will be so proud to see him here, and his family. But hopefully he will be on the wrong end of a good result for us.”