John Carver has insisted he is the best coach in the Barclays Premier League despite leading the club to eight successive defeats and into the thick of a relegation fight.
The 50-year-old, who held talks with managing director Lee Charnley on Sunday after a disastrous 3-0 defeat at Leicester, has just three games to drag the club back from the brink, starting with Saturday’s showdown with West Brom at St James’ Park.
But he will head into it adamant that he must believe he is the best at what he does.
Carver said: “I still think I’m the best coach in the Premier League. That’s what I think. Now there’s nothing wrong with that, but I still do.
“If I have the right tools, I can do the job. I’m doing the job to the best of my ability at the moment and I’ll continue doing that for the next three weeks.”
Carver has won just two of the 16 league games for which he has been in charge after replacing Alan Pardew in January, and his team has collected only nine points from a possible 48 in the process.
Newcastle approach the weekend only two points clear of the drop zone, but their head coach is refusing to throw in the towel and is confident he has the continued support of Charnley and owner Mike Ashley.
The club issued a statement on Monday confirming Carver would remain in charge for the final three games of the season.
Asked if his job is safe, he said: “It’s safe because the statement went out and what the statement said was true, so I don’t really want to go into too much detail.
“I never offered to resign, I never offered to walk away, I never offered to step aside, so contrary to what was in the media and on Twitter and different sources, once I’d had a conversation with Lee and knew what my position was - and they never asked me to resign, nothing came into the equation – I was clear in my head on Monday morning that I was in this for the next three games to challenge the fight in front of us.”
Carver found himself the focus of attention at the King Power Stadium after suggesting that defender Mike Williamson might have deliberately got himself sent off, but the pair have since resolved their differences.
The former Toronto boss said: “Me and Mike have had a good discussion – and again, that’s going to stay private. Maybe I have learnt my lesson, but that’s going to stay private.
“At the end of the conversation, we stood up, shook each other’s hand, and Mike has been fantastic in training this week. All right, he’s not available for the next two games, but he certainly will be for the last one.
“There are no hard feelings. Every morning, we have come in, we have shaken hands, looked each other in the eye and just got on with it because we are professional.”
Meanwhile, Carver urged fans infuriated not only by the recent run, but also by the way Ashley is running the club, to put their anger to one side for the remaining games of a season which could yet end in disaster.
He said: “Forget what people think of me or the footballers, get behind the football club. Get behind the team. Forget about what you think of Mike and Lee and everybody. Get behind the football club because we want to be in the Premier League next year.
“When we get to the summer, we’ll have a post-mortem and then say what you want to say. For now, for the next three games, get behind the football team to keep this club in the Premier League.”