London - Newcastle United are in freefall after eight successive defeats but under-fire interim coach John Carver said on Thursday he is the best manager in the Premier League.
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Carver met Newcastle officials on Monday to discuss his position but the club released a statement saying their only focus was Premier League survival. The club are 15th, two points above the relegation zone.
Newcastle's 3-0 defeat by Leicester City last Saturday, in which they had two players sent off, provoked fiery comments from Carver who suggested defender Mike Williamson had got himself red-carded deliberately.
"I still have the enthusiasm for it. How positive I am can affect me. I still think I'm the best coach in the Premier League," Carver told a news conference ahead of Newcastle's match against West Bromwich Albion on Saturday.
"There's nothing wrong with that and if I have the right tools, I can do the job.
"It's a tough time but if I walk around with a face on the floor it's going to affect the people around me."
Media reports suggested Newcastle wanted Derby County boss to take charge for the final three games of the season but Carver, who stepped up as manager after Alan Pardew departed in January, said his position was never in doubt.
"I never offered to walk away. I never offered to step aside. Contrary to what was in the media, nobody ever asked me to resign," Carver said.
"At no point have I looked at anyone else coming in. I read one or two things and I pick them up but I'm not interested in anyone other than this football club.
"I've got the support of the club and that for me is enough. Nobody is going to distract me from the job I've got to do at Newcastle United."
Carver also brought to the news conference the handwritten letter captain Fabricio Coloccini penned to the club's fans on Tuesday apologising for Newcastle's woeful form and said it was evidence the players are committed to top flight survival.
"I wasn't involved in the players' meeting. They did it without me and that shows me that the players are up and ready for this fight," he said.
"There's a group of players in that dressing room that want to make themselves available for the football club."