Leon Best and Danny Guthrie

By Dan King - Newcastle United Club Reporter

Midfielder Danny Guthrie has backed Leon Best to continue stepping up to the plate in the absence of leading scorer Demba Ba.

The Republic of Ireland international striker netted the only goal in last weekend's 1-0 win over Queens Park Rangers as the Magpies made it three wins out of three since the turn of the year.

It was his first goal since September and his fourth of the season, and team-mate Guthrie told nufc.co.uk that he was delighted to see Best back on the scoresheet - particularly with 15-goal Ba away on Africa Cup of Nations duty with Senegal.

"I was really pleased for him," Guthrie said.

"It was a really well-taken goal, as well. He's had to step in while Demba's been away and he's come in and done the business."

Guthrie returned from injury against QPR and put in a man of the match display in what was his first appearance since 3rd December.

And he is likely to be in the Newcastle engine room again when United travel to Fulham on Saturday - a game they will approach in a positive frame of mind according to the ex-Liverpool man.

"It's a tough place to go, Fulham, and they're a good side at home so we're expecting a hard game," he said.

"But we're going into every game really confident, because we are where we are because we do well.

"We've won all three games in 2012, and three home wins as well. Everyone knows how important your home form is, so we want to take that into our first away game of the year."