Newcastle boss won't be 'distracted' by relegation talk

Newcastle head coach John Carver is refusing to contemplate the ’R-word’ as he attempts to drag the club to Barclays Premier League safety.

The Magpies finally ended a run of eight successive defeats last weekend when they drew with West Brom at St James’ Park, a result which left them just two points clear of the drop zone with two games remaining.

Newcastle boss won't be 'distracted' by relegation talk

Their fate remains in their own hands – indeed, victory at relegated QPR on Saturday, coupled with defeat for Hull at Tottenham, would end their fears – but Carver is concentrating purely on his team.

Asked if the thought the fight against relegation would go all the way to the final game, he said: “That word is not even in my vocabulary, trust me. All I’m thinking about is Saturday against QPR.

“Let’s win the game and see what happens.

“If I start thinking about everything else, then it’s like a golfer coming down the 18th and he’s got the championship in his sights and all of a sudden he starts waving at the crowd, he loses his concentration, bang, misses a putt and loses the championship.

“I’m not even going to be distracted. I’m focused.”

Two seasons ago, Newcastle won at Loftus Road to secure their top-flight status, and a repeat this time around would send up a huge sigh of relief over Tyneside.

Carver and his players will head south not knowing quite what to expect from Rangers, who were relegated last weekend after a 6-0 drubbing at Manchester City, although the 50-year-old is expecting a backlash from Chris Ramsey’s men.

He said: “Listen, if I was Chris Ramsey and I had just lost at Manchester City by the scoreline he lost by, then I’d be at my players to put on a show.

“Let’s not forget, this is their last home game in the Premier League for at least one season, and they did take a little bit of a beating last weekend, so I’d want my players to put on a show.

“Yes, they might be a little bit more relaxed, yes, he might play one or two younger players, but I think there are one or two characters in their team who will have a point to prove because it’s not nice when you lose a game like they did last weekend and they will want to go out on a high.”

Carver will have striker Papiss Cisse and winger Rolando Aarons among his squad following their recovery from injury and full-back Daryl Janmaat, who has completed a one-match ban.

However, he will be without midfielder Siem de Jong and striker Adam Armstrong through injury.

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