STEVE HARPER insists Newcastle United are in good hands while assistant manager John Carver oversees first-team affairs in the absence of suspended boss Alan Pardew.
Carver will be in charge for the next seven games after Pardew was handed a stadium and touchline ban for his headbutt on Hull City midfielder David Meyler, starting with this Saturday’s trip to Fulham.
Pardew will not be allowed inside Craven Cottage on the day, but plans have been put in place for Pardew to deliver a team talk in hotel before the team head to the ground.
The Magpies boss will also deliver his usual pre-match press conference to the local media this lunchtime and is keen to ensure there is minimal disruption to his team’s usual preparations.
Carver, who was appointed Pardew’s assistant in 2011, is in his second stint at the club having spent five years working under Sir Bobby Robson in a period that included three European campaigns.
In total, Harper worked under Carver for seven years and the Hull City goalkeeper insists the 49-year-old is the right man to guide Newcastle in Pardew’s absence.
“John's very experienced having done it all before and I'm sure he will be well briefed,” Harper said.
“John obviously knows the club inside-out and whether as a full-time manager or caretaker, he understands what to do in that role too.
“Now it's time for Newcastle to look forward. I hope it goes well this weekend [away at Fulham], both with my Newcastle and Hull caps on.”
Pardew was handed a seven-game ban, fined £60,000 and warned about his future conduct following his altercation with former Sunderland midfielder Meyler, although the Football Association could appeal the punishment dished out by a three-man independent regulatory committee at Wembley on Tuesday.
A decision whether an appeal will be made is likely to come after tomorrow when the FA has received written explanation from the committee, but Harper believes Pardew’s punishment is fair.
He said: “Alan's punishment is about par, I think it could have been a little bit worse.”
Meanwhile, Montpellier president Louis Nicollin insists he will not stand in the way of Remy Cabella’s exit this summer.
Cabella has been linked with a move to St James’ Park and is thought to be on the radars of Arsenal, Manchester United and Tottenham.
Nicollin has warned the midfielder off a move to Tyneside in recent weeks, but the Magpies are still understood to be interested in signing the 24-year-old and the Montpellier chief admits he will grant Cabella’s transfer.
“When I give my word to someone I respect it. He was promised that if there was an ambitious club interested, we'd let him go,” Nicollin said.
“Unless there is something catastrophic in the last ten games, I think a club will come in for him.”
Newcastle’s Under-18s crashed out of the FA Youth Cup on Tuesday night despite a spirited performance against Chelsea in their quarter-final at St James’ Park.
Dominic Solanke put the Blues in front in the 23rd minute, but Olivier Kemen equalised in front of a 2,506-strong crowd that included Magpies boss Alan Pardew and several first-team members.
Newcastle then took the lead through Adam Armstrong seven minutes before half-time, but Chelsea leveled early in the second half through Alex Kiwomya before Jeremie Boga scored the winner moments later.
Newcastle: Woodman, Sterry, McKinnon, Satka, Gibson (Drennan 59), Gilliead (c), Kemen, Olley (Heardman 87), Aarons, Smith (Quinn 71), Armstrong. (Not used): Pearson, Roberts.