Bottom-of-the-log Newcastle United received a number of complaints from supporters regarding the conduct of its coaching staff during and after the 4-0 defeat to Southampton on Saturday in the English Premier League. The matter has now been dealt with internally however the two coaches under fire, Assistant Manager John Carver and Goalkeeping Coach Andy Woodman, have both made statements. Carver said, “My sole focus on Saturday, as it always is, was on trying to gain three points for Newcastle United and preparing the players to the best of my ability. This included keeping them focussed on their roles and duties in the upcoming 90 minutes. In the warm up, I was disappointed to see banners that could, in my opinion, distract the players and take focus away from the job in hand – namely winning the match. I went over to our fans to ask them to help us and requested that they take the banners down. The vast majority of supporters back the team through thick and thin and I am very proud to be one of them. I was met with abuse from one supporter and I regret that I responded inappropriately. I sincerely apologise for any offence caused by my reaction. Every fan is entitled to an opinion, positive or negative, and I respect that. I hope fans will understand that I, like them, only wanted what was best for the team. I am proud to work for my home town club and would ask every supporter to back the players and all staff, as they really can make a difference.”
Wodman said, “I am very sorry for the ill-advised comment I posted privately on Twitter on Sunday morning, which was subsequently made public. It was never my intention, of course, for my response to enter the public domain. My response was a reaction to significant personal abuse I received from a number of fans which I felt exceeded that which was fair and balanced. That said I understand my response was unacceptable and I regret my actions and apologise for any offence caused.” The Magpies are currently 20th on the league table with just two points from their opening four matches and the home match this weekend against Hull City is rumoured to be manager Alan Pardew’s last chance.