Carver: We didn’t ‘bottle it’

Emmanuel Riviere’s first Premier League goal in 22 appearances handed Newcastle control at the break at Loftus Road on Saturday, only for Matt Phillips and Leroy Fer to swipe a 2-1 victory for QPR.

Newcastle wasted the chance to cement their Premier League status, extending their winless streak to 10 games. Now Carver’s men face a nerve-wracking final-day survival clash with West Ham next weekend.

Magpies manager Carver conceded a “10-minute mad spell” had cost his side victory, but refused to accept Newcastle’s players lost their nerve at the crucial moment.

“I’m not so sure about ‘bottled it’. We had a 10-minute mad spell in the game,” said Carver.

“In the first half we were in control not under any threat.

“But then we shot ourselves in the foot again in that 10 minutes after half-time.

“It was in our hands today and we could have put it to bed today.”

Newcastle host West Ham on Sunday where victory would secure their top-flight status, while Hull are still battling for their lives but face a daunting clash with Manchester United.

Under-fire boss Carver came in for more criticism from disgruntled Toon fans at Loftus Road, the travelling supporters chanting “we’re s*** and we’re sick of it”.

Carver called on Newcastle’s fans to shelve their frustrations until after next weekend, leaving any “post-mortem” until after their fate is sealed.

“This is the biggest game this football club has had for a long, long time,” said Carver of the West Ham clash.

“I want the same atmosphere we had against West Brom a fortnight ago.

“Because it could be the fans who actually get us across the line and keep our Premier League status.

“That’s the way they were against West Brom and it made a difference to the team.

“There will be a lot of people asking ‘why should they?’, but it’s because they want us to stay in the Premier League. If it can give us that extra five or 10 per cent to stay in the Premier League, then we need it.

“And once we get the game out of the way, and we have our Premier League status, then we can have our post-mortem and we’ll deal with that.”

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