Alan Pardew aims high for Newcastle after beating QPR

Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew wants his side to challenge the Premier League's top sides and push on towards European qualification.

A Magpies side missing key duo Cheick Tiote and top scorer Demba Ba edged out QPR 1-0 on Sunday to go sixth.

Pardew said: "If we can manage to get a couple more wins when the boys are away and they can come back and give us a boost, who knows what we can achieve.

"But we will never take our eye off things. We are not that naive."

Tiote and Ba are on Africa Cup of Nations duty but Pardew was thrilled with the way his side coped in their absence to go level on points with fifth-placed Arsenal, who lost to Swansea.

"We are sixth and that's not just the result today but through 21 games," Pardew added.

"We are above Liverpool who have fantastic players. It's amazing we have got where we are.

"There was a lot of pressure on us today. We were so disciplined and professional and we got our reward. It was a game where you could almost feel it was a bit slippery but we came through."

Pardew was also delighted with the way his side recovered from the loss of Yohan Cabaye to an ankle injury in the first half.

Midfielder Cabaye had to be replaced by Hatem Ben Arfa after being hurt by a lunging tackle by Shaun Derry.

"Cabaye seems to be okay," Pardew said. "And we are hoping he will be running around for us next week. He is a massive, massive player for us.

"It was a bad challenge and one of those lines inbetween a yellow and a red card. The referee [Chris Foy] had a super game but the decision was yellow and we are fine with that.

"I thought the first 20 minutes QPR did what you would expect them to do and our players didn't quite get the message. We got caught on our heels a little bit, we got an injury to one of our best players, and we still managed to win.

"When we got the goal I was really pleased with the second half. We were controlled and disciplined and never really had any scares apart from one I can think of. It was good performance.

"As a manager we love 1-0s. Get a clean sheet, stay disciplined and see the game out. It was a good game."

Pardew was also quick to praise the contribution of his talented French midfielder Ben Arfa.

"Hatem made a difference when he came on," Pardew said. "He gave us a bit of flair and exuberance. Hatem is becoming a force here. You can see him growing as we are growing. He's starting to manoeuvre his way into the first team.

"I thought he was very, very good. He has taken on board the team ethos we have here. In terms of tracking back and doing everything else you need to do to play in our team, he did all of that and added that bit of quality that all teams need."