'I didn't want it' - John Carver speaks out on time as Leeds United caretaker manager, reveals impossible Ken Bates promise

Former Leeds United caretaker manager John Carver has revealed that he never wanted to take on the job at Elland Road.

Tuesday, 16th March 2021, 10:35 am
Updated Tuesday, 16th March 2021, 11:20 am
John Carver. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

The 56-year-old took over in the dugout in 2006 after Kevin Blackwell was relieved of his duties with the Whites.

Carver would go on to take charge of five matches, losing four and winning just once.

Chris Wilder’s recent departure from Sheffield United has led to Paul Heckingbottom’s appointment as interim manager at Bramall Lane and has also reignited discussions surrounding caretaker managers at the highest levels of the professional game.

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Speaking to BBC Sport, he said: "There's a reason why you get this role. It's either because the manager has been sacked or because the manager has had a better opportunity.

"Normally it's because they've been fired because results haven't been good enough. That group of players, the manager and the coaching staff have got into a bad position.

"People think, when you get a caretaker role, you're going to do all these things differently, but you're not.

"You were there as an assistant manager. When you're training every day, when you're preparing the team, it's you and the manager with your ideas.

"There might be small little tweaks you might do, but in general, when the team is in the position they are in and people blame the manager, the staff have to take the blame as well, because we've got them into that position. You're not going to do much different.

"Sometimes you've got no choice.

"I didn't want to do it. I knew that the team we had wasn't going to get us out of trouble. But because I had a contract with the club, I couldn't refuse it - you've got a mortgage to pay.

"I had to go and meet Ken [Bates, Leeds' chairman at the time]. He said: 'You're getting no more money, but if you get us promoted I'll give you a massive bonus.' We were in the bottom three, so that was never going to happen."

Carver has also spent time as caretaker manager at both Newcastle United and Sheffield United.