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John Carver says he is up to the job at Newcastle despite defeats

John Carver insists he is getting the best out of Newcastle's players despite their long losing run.

The Newcastle manager has won just two of his 16 games in charge, and five straight defeats have seen the club's advantage over the bottom three dwindle to nine points with six games to play.

Carver called this month's derby defeat to Sunderland "one of the darkest days of my career" and is facing the prospect of a supporter boycott when Tottenham visit on Sunday.

But Alan Pardew's former assistant, whose deal as manager is up in the summer, said: "I'm enjoying it - you might think it's strange to say that.

"The hardest thing is to pick yourself up after a defeat because you take it personally. But we are professionals and have to get on with it. I'm quite a positive guy inside my head and I know I can do the job. I just need the tools."

Carver has had to deal with suspensions to key players Papiss Cisse, Moussa Sissoko and captain Fabricio Coloccini in recent weeks.

"We've had setbacks," he said, "but you have got to deal with setbacks. It would be interesting to see if any manager or head coach had had this sort of situation in their career. It has been difficult, the facts are there.

"But I'm not a moaner and not making excuses. It's a test of management how you deal with it. I think I'm getting the best out of the group of players we have."

Newcastle's last win came back in February, and Carver said: "You can't afford to ease off in the Premier League. This is a difficult league and it's difficult to win matches. You can win five in a row, lose five in a row - and we have to stop that."

Watch Newcastle v Tottenham live on Super Sunday this weekend. Coverage from St James' Park begins at 3.30pm

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