Best makes Euro case in Toon victory
IRISH striker Leon Best issued a timely reminder to Giovanni Trapattoni of his talents ahead of Euro 2012 as a fine performance for Newcastle was topped off with an impressive solo goal.
The Magpies eased themselves into the top six with a hard-fought 1-0 win over QPR to take their tally for the season to 36 points after 21 games, just 10 fewer than they managed in the whole of the last campaign.
While Pardew insists his sights have always been set higher than mere survival, he admits reaching the accepted safety line so quickly would be a cause for immense satisfaction.
He said: "It's not been a target of ours but it's a nice target to have under your belt.
"Every Premier League manager probably has a decent glass of wine when they get that, so I shall hopefully look forward to that in the near future."
The latest three points were collected in unspectacular fashion on a day when Mark Hughes' reign as QPR boss began with defeat. A game of little genuine quality was settled eight minutes before the break as Leon Best proved that Demba Ba is not the only Newcastle frontman who knows how to find the back of the net.
He accepted Ryan Taylor's pass before cutting inside full-back Luke Young to side-foot into the far corner.
Hughes was at least able to take comfort from the manner of his team's performance. He said: "Overall, I am pleased with the performance, but obviously not the result. I was pleased with what they produced and as the weeks go on then, without a doubt, we will become better."