John Carver: Sir Bobby Robson will be by my side in Newcastle dugout

• Carver to take caretaker charge of Newcastle against Burnley
• Pardew’s former assistant draws on previous manager’s inspiration
• Who is John Carver? The caretaker left holding the baby

Management can be a lonely business but John Carver will feel anything but isolated when he steps into the limelight as Newcastle United’s caretaker coach on New Year’s Day. “I’m a Catholic and I believe Sir Bobby Robson will be looking down on me, I really do,” said Alan Pardew’s former assistant. “He’ll be there with us. He will be in the technical area with us.”

Although it was Ruud Gullit who originally plucked Carver from an obscure junior coaching role, Robson became his principal mentor when he appointed him as his No2 at St James’ Park. Given that history, it was no surprise that Carver turned to his old boss for inspiration as he prepared for Newcastle’s home game against Burnley on Thursday afternoon.

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