Leon Best fires Newcastle United back into the top six

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LEON Best shot Newcastle United back into the Premier League’s top six – then vowed to carry on Demba Ba’s good work up front.

Best’s first-half strike saw off Queens Park Rangers at the Sports Direct Arena yesterday, with Mark Hughes’s side losing 1-0.

The result lifted the club back above Liverpool, and level on points with fifth-placed Arsenal.

It was Best’s first goal since September and the striker was just glad to contribute after a barron and injury-hit few months.

“It’s funny, I seem to score at times of need or times when the pressure’s on,” Best said.

“It’s a massive three points, because we jump ahead of Liverpool and we’re sixth in the league.

“I did score the goal, but the team got the three points – that’s what we’re about.”

Best’s showed some neat footwork to skip past Luke Young and create the chance after Ryan Taylor found him in the box.

The 25-year-old then coolly rolled the ball into the bottom right-hand corner to take his goal tally for the season to four.

“I do it all the time training – it’s just a matter of believing and bringing that into the game,” added Best.

“Sometimes with a little bit of extra pressure, or a bit more inside belief you, you do things without thinking. I can’t wait for the next game now.”

Best is set for an extended spell up in Alan Pardew’s side with Demba Ba away on African Cup of Nations duty with Senegal.

Pardew could sign a striker this month, but extra competition doesn’t faze Best.

“I’ve got belief in the manager and the players, and so have all the other lads,” he said.

“If the manager brings in players, it’s to strengthen the team, the squad and the unit we are. It’s a good thing.”

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 after a four-month wait for a goal.

He accepted Ryan Taylor’s pass before cutting inside full-back Luke Young to side-foot unerringly into the right-hand corner to claim the points.

But the Magpies were far from convincing and had to survive a series of close calls with Shaun Wright-Phillips clipping the top of the crossbar before the break and Jay Bothroyd forcing a good save from keeper Tim Krul after it.

Newcastle: Krul, Coloccini, Santon, Simpson, Williamson, R Taylor (Gosling 81), Cabaye (Ben Arfa 25), Guthrie, Gutierrez, Best (Perch 76), Sh Ameobi. Subs: Elliot, Ferguson, Abeid, Obertan

QPR: Kenny, Hill, Gabbidon, Young, Ferdinand, Derry, Buzsaky (Macheda 76), Wright-Phillips, Bothroyd, Mackie, Helguson (Smith 64). Subs: Cerny, Orr, Hall, Ephraim, Campbell, Smith, Macheda

Ref: Foy Att: 49,865