Premier League

Newcastle manager Alan Pardew says squad is strong enough

Alan Pardew: Demanding a repeat performance against QPR on Saturday

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Alan Pardew has admitted it was a relief to come through Saturday's game against Manchester City with no fresh fitness concerns, and believes Newcastle United will return to winning ways against Queens Park Rangers next time out.

Newcastle's squad has been hit by a series of injuries to key players this season, with Pardew confirming at the weekend that Hatem Ben Arfa would miss the Christmas period with a hamstring problem.

However, Pardew will at least have no new absentees for Saturday's clash with QPR after his players came through the game against Manchester City unscathed.

He said: "I think that will be our squad, hopefully - we don't want to lose anyone. We have got a clean bill of health and that's a bonus in itself.

"Cheick [Tiote] was on a booking to miss QPR and I didn't want that, so I did take him off as a bit of a precaution for that.

"But the squad that played [on Saturday] is good enough. No excuses - if that team plays like that against QPR, I think we will win - with all due respect to QPR - and that's how we are going to have to play."

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