Only Cure for Perch's Pain Is Beating QPR; Only One Cure for the Pain of Defeat

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Byline: Stuart Rayner ? (0191) 201-6283 ?

JAMES Perch admits it is "hurting" Newcastle United to have so little to show from so much effort recently, but the utility man insists it will not stop them going into Saturday's crucial game full of confidence.

Queens Park Rangers are one of the few teams below the Magpies in the Premier League, so it is important they take full advantage of playing them at home.

But the Hoops are unbeaten under new manager Harry Redknapp, and fresh from their first league win this season at the weekend.

Newcastle, by comparison, have won one of their last 11 games. Perch thinks they have deserved more, particularly from last week's defeats to Fulham and Manchester City.

"It hurts to come away from the last two games with nothing because we've put a lot of fight and effort into both games," he reflected.

"When you look like you're on top but the opposition score, it knocks it out of you. That was the case against Fulham after we had equalised, and it happened again against Manchester City when we were 2-1 down. It's hard, but we know if we just keep going, things will turn for us.

"I don't think that complete 90-minute performance we're looking for is too far away. "We've been quite close in the last couple of matches, it's just a couple of ten-minute spells have been really costly for us. If we just do it for 90 minutes, I think we'll score goals, keep clean sheets and win games."

Only adding to Saturday's importance is the identity of Newcastle's post- Christmas opponents. They travel to Manchester United and Arsenal, and ring in the New Year with a visit from Manchester City. "The Christmas games look tough, so that makes the weekend's game all the more important, but the QPR match is going to be a tough game as well," said Perch (pictured below). …


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