Caretaker Carver set to sacrifice principles for points

JOHN CARVER finds himself between a rock and a hard place – his footballing principles and Sheffield United's desperate need for results.

"An ideal scenario will be the style of football that Sir Bobby Robson and Kevin Keegan played, because that is the style of football I've been brought up on," said Sheffield United's caretaker manager, who takes charge of his first game against Swansea City at Bramall Lane tomorrow following Gary Speed's decision to take on the Wales national job.

"The important thing, though, is winning football matches. I'm not interested how – I'm interested in results, points.

"You have to bend your principles because it's points that are the most important thing."

Carver assumes temporary control with United languishing in 20th place in the Championship table, just one point above the exit door to League One.

While not having said he wants the Blades job full-time, the former Newcastle and Leeds United caretaker knows that if he is to make an impression in the length of time he is afforded, points are the priority.

Speed attempted to bring about a sea-change in United's fortunes after taking over from the up-and-at-them style of Kevin Blackwell in August, and if Carver is appointed manager on a full-time basis, he will look to continue the work of new Wales manager.

But for now, starting against Swansea, a side who play the kind of football he admires, Carver acknowledges his footballing approach may have to be sacrificed.

"Funnily enough I get asked about my approach in Toronto, Leeds, and everywhere I go," said the much-travelled coach.

"But you can't always play your ideal way because players dictate the style of play you're going to play, and very rarely do you get a chance to change that.

"We're playing Swansea this weekend and Brendan Rogers has walked into a situation that's been developed over a number of years through the past two managers. It's a good system, good football, entertaining, easy on the eye and he's reaping the benefits of that.

"In an ideal world that's the type of football most people want, but sometimes you have to deal with what you've got.

"Swansea keep the ball for long periods of time. Our fans are going to have to be patient, if we go gung-ho and try and get the ball off them, they'll pass through us, around us and cause us a problem.

"We've worked on a way to deal with that."