Alan Pardew

By Dan King - Newcastle United Club Reporter

They may already have been relegated from the Barclays Premier League, but Alan Pardew expects Queens Park Rangers to go down fighting in their final two fixtures.

And so, although the West London outfit currently occupy bottom spot in the table and have nothing to play for but pride, the Newcastle boss knows Sunday's trip to Loftus Road still represents a tough challenge.

By contrast, of course, United have everything to play for as they aim to secure their own top flight status for next season but Harry Redknapp's side will certainly not lie down.

They proved dogged opponents at St. James' Park back in December, when it took a late goal from Shola Ameobi to give the Magpies a 1-0 win, and in the Hoops' final home match of a disappointing campaign they'll be determined to go out on a high. 

Pardew said: "They're professionals and any professional team is difficult to beat. Sometimes it's about falling on teams; I think QPR three or four weeks ago have had some tricky games but they've got themselves together a little bit better.

"Certainly against Arsenal they were a lot more disciplined and I think that's the team we'll face, so it's not going to be easy.

"They've got goalscorers - Bobby Zamora who I've worked with (at West Ham), Loic Remy who we tried to bring here, so we know the two strikers very well and we're going to need to be on our guard against them because they can get goals.

"And obviously they have (Adel) Taarabt who is their Hatem Ben Arfa. He can create something out of nothing. I can't say that this game is a game that we're confident of winning but we're positive in our attitude to go there and try and win."

Some of the pressure which was mounting on Newcastle ahead of Sunday's game was eased when relegation rivals Wigan lost at home to Swansea on Tuesday night - a match which Pardew watched with interest - while Chelsea's win over Aston Villa on Saturday means three points would guarantee safety for United.

"There was a little bit of tension lifted when the result came through, you could sense that at the training ground, but it doesn't make the task easier," he said.

"We still need to get something at QPR and hopefully get ourselves an away win. Our away form has been poor this year so hopefully that's what we'll do.

"We've still got six points to play for. We think they're two games we can win, with one of them being a home game, and that's what we're going to have to do - try and get six points because six points at this stage is going to jump you considerably up the league.

"On Sunday, we're going to have look for a positive result and then hopefully get a result against Arsenal."