Staying power of Blackpool’s briefest boss

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GRAHAM Carr may only have lasted a few months as Blackpool manager but his latest deal proves he is one of football’s great survivors.

Carr’s new eight-year deal as chief scout at Newcastle United will take him through to the age of 75.

Carr, father of TV’s Chatty Man Allan Carr, holds the record as Blackpool’s shortest-serving manager, surviving only 16 games at the start of the 1990-91 season.

Now happily relocated on Tyneside, Graham believes there are exciting times ahead for the Toon and he thinks owner Mike Ashley should receive more credit.

Sportswear tycoon Ashley has incurred the wrath of Geordie fans since his takeover of the cub but Carr says he has helped transform the club.

Carr said: “People thought that Mike would move on sometime but he wants to take the club further and he wants to have a stable backroom staff.

“I think we want to eventually be targeting top-four finishes and hopefully we can do it in a few years.

Carr joined Newcastle in February 2010 and is credited with identifying much of the talent that helped Alan Pardew’s team finish fifth in the Barclays Premier League last season.

He picked out the likes of Hatem Ben Arfa, Cheick Tiote, Yohan Cabaye, Papiss Cisse and Sylvain Marveaux as the Magpies defied expectations and qualified for Europe for the first time since 2006. “I have been a manager myself and you can’t help what comes your way,” Carr added. “This is my 14th season in Europe, so I have a fair knowledge of it. It is very good to see my recommendations doing well.

January signing Cisse has been Carr’s most striking success to date, with the former Freiburg striker plundering 13 goals in just 14 top flight appearances.

“Every time I went to watch him he always scored,” he said. “He scored with his head, left foot, right foot.

“The original price the season before was 15m euros, then it was 12m and then, as his contract was running down, it was 9m, which was ideal for Newcastle and our price range.”