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Main » 2013 » May » 8 » We must beat QPR

We must beat QPR

premier league
Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew believes his side's trip to QPR on Saturday is a must-win as they bid to avoid relegation.
The St. James' Park outfit could be in the Premier League's bottom three by the time the weekend comes around, if Wigan beat Swansea City on Tuesday.

Pardew's side have been in horrendous form recently, winning just one of their last nine matches in all competitions.

Included in that run have been heavy defeats to Liverpool, Manchester City, Sunderland and Benfica – all matches in which they have conceded three goals or more – and things are beginning to look ominous.

A trip to already relegated QPR offers Newcastle a chance for salvation and with a fixture against Arsenal on the final day, Pardew is under no illusions as to the importance of the Loftus Road trip.

"We haven't got a lot of time left, and Wigan's result (they beat West Bromwich Albion 3-2 on Saturday) has put pressure on us all," Pardew said. 

"Not just us - all the teams above us. It looks like at QPR we're going to have to try to win the game and see where that leaves us. We wanted to try to get two wins."

Newcastle have won just one away match in the Premier League this season, and that came more than three months ago at Aston Villa.

Pardew will be hopeful that striker Shola Ameobi and midfielder Moussa Sissoko are fit for the trip to QPR, and although Frenchman Hatem Ben Arfa is playing again, the manager revealed he is far from 100 percent fit.

Ben Arfa – a key member of Newcastle's team with his dead-ball ability, in addition to his surging runs and goals – is playing through the pain barrier according to Pardew.

"Ben Arfa has been struggling," he said. "This hamstring has a slight weakness in there and it won't even be strong I don't think for six, seven weeks."

"We got a great level of fitness out of him in terms of that particular problem. He was terrific at West Ham, and he's a match winner. 

"We've been bringing him on in the second half but started him at the weekend and we missed him when we took him off. We missed that little thrust.

"I think for Hatem another week's work will get him closer. Goalscoring is what wins games, we've got to improve that area for next week, including with Hatem."

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