JOHN CARVER, Leeds United's new head coach, will use tomorrow's pre-season friendly at Celtic to start getting to know the players.

Carver, who has had a 20-year association with Newcastle, dating back to when he joined them as a 14-year-old, succeeds former York City player Steve Agnew in the coaching job at Leeds after rejecting offers from Derby and Bolton.

Agnew left during the summer to become assistant-manager at Hartlepool, who were playing at York City today, and Leeds manager Kevin Blackwell approached Carver about the vacancy last week.

Carver left Newcastle for Cardiff City when he was 19 but his playing career was cut short by a thigh injury similar to Jonathan Woodgate's. Kevin Keegan brought Carver in to look after Newcastle's School of Excellence in 1991, Kenny Dalglish made him youth coach, Ruud Gullit promoted him to coach the first team and he was assistant-manager under Bobby Robson.

His brother-in-law is former Leeds and Newcastle player Peter Haddock and Carver took Haddock's advice before rejecting the offers from Derby and Bolton to take the coaching job at Leeds.

Carver said: "This weekend is going to be important for me in getting to know the lads. I am aware of most of them but I need to know how they are thinking and what makes them tick."

Updated: 10:28 Saturday, July 23, 2005