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Newcastle boss defends players' day off

John Carver. Credit: PA

Newcastle head coach John Carver has defended his decisions to play in a charity golf tournament and to give his players two days off as the club faces a Barclays Premier League relegation showdown.

Some supporters have reacted with incredulity when the Magpies' drastically under-achieving squad was given Sunday and Monday off in the wake of their 2-1 defeat at QPR on Saturday, and some were less than impressed to see Carver himself enjoying a day's golf.

t didn't interfere with any of our preparations. Our preparation, our days in and days off, are exactly the same as they were before the West Bromwich Albion game.

I've spoken to quite a few managers and there were lots of managers not in on Sunday and Monday because we all know the final game of the season is on Sunday, so I have a clear conscience.

We pulled out of this golf charity day two years ago and were criticised for that, so you're dammed if you do and your dammed if you don't. I thought it was important that we do things in the community, we support our local businesses and charities.

It is a tough time, but sometimes you have to relax as well to get yourself ready and focused for the challenge ahead, and that's where we are now."

– John Carver